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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  July 7, 2009 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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the majority. one of the things that we are seeing is that people realize and that the science is mixed, and the louder they say that science is settled, the greater to me is they have nothing else to say because right now if you look at the changes that have taken place, senator barrasso entered senator in the record this morning. it was an article that was reprinted in "the wall street journal" and it listed five countries where they're changing their position now because they realized that the co-2 is not the villain that they thought it was. the public perception has totally change. the polling shows when you talk about think top 20 concerns, sometimes it makes number 20, sometimes it doesn't make it at all, it used to be two or three. clearly it's a wakeup call my two greatest frustrations, my two greatest frustrations are that when you look and you see
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people talk about lowering our dependence on foreign countries for our ability to run this machine called america, and yet those same individuals won't let us drill offchauffeur, won't let us get in the tar sands, won't let us work on marginal wells we have in both of our states and don't want to increase the domestic supply, we're the only country in the world that does export our own domestic supplies. yet they still say they want to reduce our risk. we could do it overnight as i said, as i documented in my opening statement, if we were to open things up. the second thing is, as you alluded to, i'm so happy this morning that the administrator, the e.p.a. came out and agreed with me when i was making my case that if we were to pass this bill, the one that passed the house, unilaterally that would cause our manufacturing base to leave we know that. that's a fact. it would go to country ares, as you pointed out, china has no
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emission requirements restrictions, it would have a net increase in co-2. if you're one of those who believe that co-2 is causing these problems, you ought to be opposed to this because unilaterally it won't work. as administrator said this morning she said, i believe essential parts of the chart are that the united states action alone will not impact co-2 levels. this morning, i quoted the top leaders in both india and china saying, under no circumstances were they going to have any reductions. that's not my question, that's my statement. my question is, do you agree? >> yes, sir, i do. i will say, i was surprised to hear the administrator of e.p.a. say that this morning that it wouldn't have any effect, but i was interested in e.p.a.'s report on this bill back when it was traveling through the house, made the point that it wouldn't have any effect on importation of foreign oil. that their report says it essentially has no effect on
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petroleum and i'm like you. we need to wean ourselves off of foreign oil, at least the excessive reliance we have, and this won't do it, according to e.p.a. this won't do it. but we do have a lot of production capacity that we're in the taking advantage of and we ought to be producing. i was glad to hear the secretary of energy talk about more nuclear. that emits no greenhouse gases aened tv more nuclear and get ourselves off foreign oil and gas ought to be a big goal of what we're doing. but we need to try to do it in a way that doesn't have huge costs for families and doesn't do great damage to our economy when at the same time we're stretching so hard to do everything we can do to get our economy back strong and people back working. >> you have problems in mississippi, you have a lot of low-income people, you did a great job trying to preclude
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something like this from happening. senator barrasso? >> thank you, mr. chairman. governor, great to see you, just following up on what senator inhofe said, what could the impacts of this be on families in mississippi, i know what it's going to do to families in wyoming. >> there are a number of studies on this. the brookings institution said it will cost 600 or 7,000 -- 600,000 or 700,000 jobs a year, to another study that 2.25 million to 3.25 million jobs a year. every study says it will cost jobs. there will be some green jobs created, but they will be far outnumbered by the lost jobs. the house bill has a huge unemployment section in it for the people who lose their jobs because of this bill.
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it's generous, three years of unemployment, the government will pay 80% of your health insurance when this costs you your job. talk about this as a jobs bill and then have huge unemployment benefits in it is to me, a little bit disconcerting. we do, in our state, we try very hard to do all the above. we're trying to build a new nuclear power plant no greenhouse gas emissions. the first commercial-scale carbon capture sesquest, -- squest ration sprodget in kemper county, mississippi. this is going to be the first time, being from an oil and gas state, you'll understand this we're going to take lignite, indigenous, in coal, we're going to gas fi it, burn it to make electricity from a gas to make eelect trissties, ere-deuce emissions, then capture the emigs and use them for tertiary recovery in our
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old air -- in our old oil fields. today we have three big tertiary recovery projects going on, they're having to mine the co-2 and pay for it. this way they can buy the co-2 as a waste, the electric utility gets the benefit and these people buy co-2 for a lot less and we sequester it in old wells. we are trying to do things consistent with what senator murphy was talking about, that is how do we do things in a positive way to reduce co-2 emissions. what we don't want to do and are worried about are things that have terrific harm to families and to our economy. one of the initial studies of a previous cap and trade bill, done by mckenzie, said it would increase the price of electricity per kilowatt hour
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by five to 15 cents a kilowatt hour. if you take the very low end of that, five cents per kilowatt hour, in jackson, mississippi, that's a 56% increase in the electricity rate for a home. from 8.9 cents. the penalty for violating the renewable energy standard in waxman-marquis is 2 1/2 cents a kilowatt hour. our rate is only 8.9 cents a kilo watt hour for our -- we've got three big utilities, for our one in jackson. that's an enormous increase for our people to live with. those are the kind of things we're trying to avoid. if there's one thing i can say to the three of you and chairman boxer, the more the public can learn the facts, and not rush through this, this is -- this affects every element of our economy and our national
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security so that the public knows the facts and then makes decisions based on the facts. >> one minute left, governor barbour, anything else you'd like to share with the committee you didn't have enough time to do in your prepared state snment you've just seen a bill where they threw in 300 pages at the last minute, that's no way to make legislation or come to solutions. >> it is a huge issue. it's an issue that affects every single person in the united states, every job in the united states, for the good or bad. and just the public needs to know the facts. and the longer the facts are in front of the public, then the better decisions they will call their senators about on the phone and understand this and understand what to say. >> thank you, govern josh. thank you, mr. chairman. >> any closing comments? >> just one. i know you have a commitment. you and i are both old enough to remember the b.t.u. tax in 1993. i referenced that this morning, the interesting thing, and let
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me get -- at least when you get on your plane to leave, let me share, i don't think this bill will pass. it'll pass out of this committee, there's nothing that won't pass out of the committee, but on the floor it won't. in 1993, when they had the b.t.u. tax, it passed the house by the same margin of one, it was 219 votes. that's what this passed. and of course it was overwhelmingly defeated when it got to the senate, people had time to look at it, it was a regressive tax, while it wasn't nearly as high a tax as this bill would provide, still the american people did wake up, i'm confident they'll do that again. >> senator, thank you. i hope you're right. there are a bunch of things we can do and i would be in favor of doing, i just think the cap and trade tax and -- i know it's not y'all's jurisdiction but the increase in taxes on the oil and gas industry, about $81 billion over 10 years -- >> that was in the budget. i might say, some of our new
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democrats are very supportive of our position on that, such the senator from alaska, he's trying to help us. $81 billion that would be the death nell of -- the death knoll of the oil and gas producers. >> we're 10 minutes over schedule, i know you also -- we need to make sure you get off to your plane. i appreciate you adjusting your schedule to meet now, not when the panel is here later. the committee will recess until 2:00 p.m. at that time, we'll hear from other members of the second panel, rich well, david hawkins, and john federman. i appreciate you bringing the views from your home state and i know that -- i think for all of us here at the panel, jobs are right at the top of this agenda and how we restructure our energy economy so we're not dependent on a few foreign nations compromising our national security, spending $2 billion a day overseas rather
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than spending it here creating jobs in america. thank you for your testimony. the committee is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> finishing out the first panel of this hearing on clean energy economy with testimony from mississippi governor haley barbour. this hearing held by the senate environment committee. panel two set to begin at -- after a short lunch break, that'll be at about 2:00 eastern. we're planning to record that for later airing on the c-span network but you will be able to watch it live at c-span.org. the reason we can't bring that to you live is the u.s. house is gaveling in at 2:00 for legislative work. they're working on a number of suspension bills, votes a little lit la -- later on this afternoon. you can see the house live here
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on c-span, that's at 2:00 p.m. eastern. you can watch that panel at 2:00 on our website. again, that's c-span.org. one of those testifying in the second panel is john federman, he was a guest on this morning's "washington journal," talking about clean energy and reducing global warming. >> our guest now, the mayor of braddock, pennsylvania, john federman, he's a democrat, he'll be testified in front of the senate today. the topic is clean energy and the economy. mr. mayor, what will your message be for the committee today? >> my message will be, essentially as spokesperson for the devastating manufacturing regions on the seese coast and really any in the country. thee the sections of the country that lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs, whether in our area with steel or in detroit with the implosion of the auto industry. this is basically a surrogate to testify on behalf that we
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need this bill passed because it will lead to a clean energy revolution, that will lead to, in turn to a manufacturing jobs renaissance. host: give us a background on braddock. what is its history, what is its community like? guest: we are about 10 miles west of pittsburgh. we are a very distinguished and historic place. we were a community of 20,000 residents that now has under 3000. we had, in fact, the last remaining steel mill in the region operating. we have suffered more than anybody in the state. 90% of the community is gone. host: you have these old steel
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mills in the community. what would you like to do to the town guest: i think there's a lot of things that can be done. i'm not just here to represent braddock. i'm here because i fundamentally believe that a lot of sites must be and can be repurposed as basically a green enterprise zone. we've got a vacant steel mill, abandoned steel mill that's been fallow for over 25 years right next door to us. this is a -- this is 150 acres, we have a great chief executive of the county looking to repurpose it. this, we believe believe -- we believe, is going to be one of the prime areas where companies looking at new technologies could relocate. there's multiple sites not only in western pennsylvania but around the rust belt. >> we invite viewers to phone in with questions and comments for the mayor of braddock, pennsylvania, his name is john fetterman. separate lines for democrats,
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republicans, and independents. we're taking the issue of clean energy and tying it to the economy. congress working on a climate change bill, our guest is here from braddock, pennsylvania. john fetterman holds a masters in public policy from harvard. tell us about your path to the mayor's office? >> it was a circuitous one. i was afforded the opportunity to start and manage a youth program that works with young people. the really disaffected, hard to serve populations, helping them with g.e.d.'s, job placement, what have you. it evolved from there. i was elected, i took office in 2006 and just won re-election last -- this past may. host: when you talk about repurchasing old land, what is the proper balance that you see? between local, state, federal, how does it all work?
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guest: we are very proactive in our part of the state. we are hoping for not only stimulus dollars, with these shell already projects, but also with these innovations that should be coming with the passage of this legislation. host: how much money are you anticipating in your area? guest: i do not have the exact dollar amount, but we have they read -- as a region will certainly benefit from the legislation. host: milton, indiana. good morning. caller: you were talking about how everything is affecting the steel mills in pennsylvania. with this new climate change bill, there are a lot of industries in indiana that will be devastated by the energy
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bill. a lot of it will have to do with cap and trade. it is going to cause people to lose jobs in the long run. reena jobs -- green jobs are unsustainable. we will end up in the same boat, whether it is five, 10 years down the road. guest: i would respectfully disagree. i cannot tell you how many labor organizations, particularly the united steel workers, that have endorsed this piece of legislation. we had a campaign in different parts of the country where i am featured in ads with steelworkers who have already lost their jobs. for example, u.s. steel canceled a $1 billion expansion in our area because of the fall in demand.
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one last point. and these are not green jobs. i know that gets bandied about, but these are quality jobs. this will create a lot of quality, basic, blue-collar jobs, that you can raise a family on. these are not necessarily esoteric engineering jobs. these are jobs that many people in the country have lost. host: next phone call from maryland. caller: good morning. i am originally from ohio. i do not believe in the use cold-fired anymore.
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i believe it is the electric arc. you commented that there were tons of steel in each windmill. one not try to refurbish some of the steel mills -- we need to make steel in this country. if we do not make steel to do these green projects, where are we getting the steel from, overseas? guest: i could not agree more. what sense does it make to reduce our carbon footprint if we are outsourcing this production to china? of course, this is all contingent on being u.s. steel. it is going to benefit american workers.
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host: give us a broader look at your region in pennsylvania. how many towns are there like you in the area? guest: of course, we are unique. i have not come across@@@@@@ there are are regions suffering tremendously. we have hart part of a region that at one point in time produced a significant portion of the world's steel and naturally, as steel left and things became outsourced that part of the cubtry never got the bailout the charlottes and the phoenix areas are getting now with the banking industry, so we were kind of on our own and thrown to the wolves. as i'm fond of saying,'re not asking for the proverbial handout, we're asking for the handup that will bring back manufacturing jobs to our region. i'm not suggesting it's going to return to what it was, but
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what i think is that this is a necessary part of bringing this whole region, as well as callers from like indiana and ohio, that same prosperity back or some measure of it. >> how much prosperity do you envision? how many jobs in your town, things work out on the hill and the repurposes happens the way you're looking at it? guest: hopefully thousand, not from my town, because our town is relatively small but what's good for braddock is good for the valley, because we're a group of small communities struggling mightily with the deindustrialization of the region. it's our hope that this bill passes and over the next several years that some of that prosperity begins to creep back in and we can recast the region, not as an area that relied too heavy on steel but an area looking forward to green energy production and revolution. host: retouched on the initial stimulus bill, i think the city
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doesn't want handouts as you put it, but here's a twitter question, do you think another stimulus package is required to reopen pennsylvania steel mills? guest: i don't think so. i don't think it comes down to necessarily reopening steel mills, we're talking about taking a fallow piece of land, 150 acres and starting anew, building brand new buildings, housing, other things on these. repurposing them and turning them into an engine of prosperity and add tourg tax base. when you've lost 90% of your population, there goes 90% of your tax base. this is really about playing the hand we're dealt, taking the sites and repurposing them to bring us back from the brink. host: quaker city, ohio, democratic line, you're on the line. caller: i wondered if they have considered getting some help
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this way, there are so many unemployed people or people who have moved out that might come back, the government would say to businesses who wanted to start up or people rr already in business, throughout the united states, say we have all these unemployed people, we -- employers, go down to the employment office, tell us your needs for workers, and we will still pay the unemployment part, you pay the rest and let's put people back to work. people need to go back to work. this would help any small industry that could go down and say, i need these numbers of people for this, this, and this and then you'd have the people to work. i don't understand why we're paying people to stay home when i'm a small business and i have so many jobs i would love to hire people to do, but i am very limited on resources
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because of the economic situation, but if the government would give me a little handup to hire more people, and every business, i'm sure could find a few places and get pose people off of unemployment where they'd have a job and maybe a future. host: thanks. mr. mayor? guest: i come from a family, we own a family small business as well, i'm very well versed, i have an m.b.a. in finance, i'm vell verse -- well versed in the mechanics of small business and what have you, i think whether it's what the call brother posed or it's just a massive infusion, you know, private dollars always follow public dollars. it very rarely is reversed. we need an infusion of public dollars brought about by this legislation, brought about the stimulus in order to bring things forward not only in our region but in regions like indiana and ohio. there's right up the river from us was the homestead site, at
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one point the largest steel mill in the world. that has been repurposed to a large shopping and recreational area and communities that were in municipal bankruptcy are now thriving because of the tax revenue. this has been done in our region and can be done at a much more national level with the passage of this legislation. host: who is the largest employer in braddock right now? guest: i would have to say it's the hospital, but there isn't one that stands out. a lot of residents work elsewhere in the region. host: average income in town? guest: around $17,000 is the family income, that places us at the bottom in allegheny county. host: let's go to dan. caller: good morning. cap and trade is not about foreign oil. cap and trade is about domestic coal and baseline power production.
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most of cardon -- carbon dioxide emissions comes from coal-fired power plants, not foreign oil coming from automobiles. if we go through a cap and trade in the senate this will destroy our last piece of national sovereignty by eliminating cheap coal production and it's very telling because they don't want to replace coal with very efficient nuclear power plants. nobody talks about it. could you comment on thatting mayor? host: thanks. guest: sure. it sounds like you have your opinions already formed out and of course i respect that, with respect to the reference, nuclear reference you made, for me personally, just strictly personally, i grew up eight miles as the crow files from three mile island when we had the accident and we had to evacuate. me personally, i don't have a comfort level with expanding radically our nuclear capabilities because that will generate, i think, a lot of
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issues collateral issues. with respect to coal and other technologies, clean coal technology does exist this bill doesn't for a second suggest that coal is going to go away or fossil fuels in general are going to go away. this is really more about breaking and moving away from our dependence on not only foreign oil but our inability to put a cap on carbon dioxide pollution, which of course most everybody agrees is altering earth's climate. host: question via twitter, mr. mayor. is pursuing clean energy policy compatible with reducing unemployment? guest: absolutely. folks that would oppose this bill often, and a lot of well-funded lobbyists, try to pit economic growth with concerners in environment. it's, well, you can't have both, you have to choose that simply isn't true. we need to move forward, we need to move past this, this bickering and this is a working
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man's job bill. in the past, in fact a lot of steelworkers i worked with in the campaigns don't consider themselves green or tree huggers or in fact they actually probably have a negative view of them. you don't have to we are patagonia and drive a subaru to care about your environment and see this bill has the possibility of bringing job, manufacturing jobsing back into region that was lost so much. i would suggest that -- to any caller that disagrees, if not this, then what else? what do you suggest? every time the news comes around with detroit, detroit is falling into more and more chaos. as somebody, as mayor of a community that's already at the finish line of that downward decline, it's not a pleasant ride. i think we need to make some positive steps and i think this is a major, massive one a kind of a once in a generation opportunity. host: tell us more about your
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americorps experience? guest: i worked in another predominantly african-american, very historic neighborhood in pittsburgh, the hill district, started their computer programming program. and went from there, from there went to graduate school. with respect to green energy and some people think it's just pie in the sky, i remember, i use this analogy, when i was a kid, i got a commodore 64 computer for christmas. you can't do a heck of a lot with that, now i'm getting questions via the internet you think of the amount of wealth the internet has created, nobody could have foreseen that level of wealth creation back in as early as the early 1990's. the same process this massive amount of investment this bill will generate will lead to a similar type of wealth creation and innovation in this country. furthermore, these two countries that a lot of folks believe will not follow our lead, it's irrelevant if they do, we hope they do, we need to
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emerge as a leader and develop this technology and turn around and sell it to them. their environmental practices are not sustainable, they have to shut down for six weeks before the olympics so they can see the sky again. this is an example of how to stop importing things and start exporting to china. host: how long is your term as mayor? guest: i just -- the term is four years, i just won the democratic primary, which is essentially the election. host: how long would you like to be may yo ? guest: they can bury me on the hill if they'd liking it's the greatest job i've had. host: another call e. caller: my the thing i keep asking peopling they say we buy all this oil from people out thrk they all hate using they don't like us, well i'm trying
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to understand -- what i'm trying to understand is if we stop buying their oil, you know, are they going to like us bet her and another thing, the less oil we buy from them, we are still going to need them. we produce a lot of things that use oil. lubricants, i'm sure they can't run windmills without lubricants. host: the caller focused on oil there guest: i don't really agree with his lodger that if we buy less oil, they'll like us less. i don't think it's a mat eof how much they like using but how much power they have with $7.5 million of wealth transfer every year. no one is suggesting fossil fuels will go away soon, the bill doesn't take effect until 2012. even the most ardent supporters of this legislation will
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suggest that we'll be three freeh of fossil fuel usage certainly at any time in my lifetime. this is a matter of capping the carbon dioxide emissions, bringing them down, creating a lot of research-based investment and innovation in this country which will translate to a number of quality jobs, both high-end research and development job but also a lot of blue collar jobs that industries around the rust belt have lost over the last 20, 30, 40 years. host: really close vote in the house on the climate bill, the senate is just starting its process, we'll have a hearing today on the topic, how close are you watching the specifics of the legislation and what's your best hope far single bill when it come, it comes? guest: i don't know. i'm not an expert, i don't spend much time in washington, i follow the bill closely and was encouraged when our representative voted for it,
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disappointed in your jason altmires that did not vote for it, so i think it -- i hope it passes, i believe it will, i think we need to continue to get the message out that this is a, you know, our last, best chance to reinvigorate the middle class through producing quality jobs through this legislation. host: here's an email, isn't it the fact that your area has been under democrat control for so long, the reason your area is suffering like so many other democrat controlled areas. also after panels are built and installed and windmills are built, what will we do with those workers? >> that's a partisan dig, there are republican areas hurting as well as democrat areas. just because you don't like the messenger, there whether it was an al gore or even myself, don't look for the letter after our names. what we're arguing is not in
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dispute by most reasonable scientists. and experts. so this -- i never understood how this became a partisan issue. we need to move past the partisanship on this and thauns climate change is a real thing and if we can become and reassert our leadership in the clean energy area, like this bill would allow us to do, i think that's good for the whole country in general and again, i certainly am not concerned with the letter after my name and i hope more people begin to see that as well. host: wayne county, west virginia, thanks for waiting, joe on the line for democrats. hi, joe. turn the sound down on your set. caller: i've got it muted, i'm in the other room. host: good. caller: i'm a retired union coal miner from west virginia, i worked union and nonunion. west virginia is basically being destroyed the skoal cole industry.
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they're involved in this process of mining called mauntoin -- mountain top removal mining. there's been over a million acres of west virginia mountains destroyed. leveled, completely leveled. 62% of our streams are contaminated or thought to be con testimony nated according to the west virginia d.e.p. the majority of this mountain top removal mining coal is being exported to canada or to taiwan or to china. our biggest problem here is we have a single economy. in 1970, there were 120,000 union miners working in mines in west virginia. today, there's less than 14,000 miners and the majority of those are operating in mountain top removal mining. at what price are we destroying the economy and the state of west virginia? and how do we stop this? mountain top removal mining is
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against the law, according to the clean air act and the clean water act. but these laws aren't being enforced because they're supposed to put these mountains back to what they call the original contour but they get exceptions from that for the -- from the corps of engineers and the west virginia d.e.p. what build we would like is a diversified green economy. these mountain ranges that they're destroying are some of the most complex ecosystems in the world and they've been here since the ice ages and as a matter of fact they're one of the only ones that survived the ice ages and they're destroying those every day and there's nothing we can do about it because our political leaders support the coal companies who have all the money who control all the media stations. host: thanks. mayor john fetterman? guest: i appreciate hearing somebody, a working person from west virginia that has his eye on the bigger picture and realize there is is a lot of
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environmental degradation going on and fundamentally believe that these production techniques and this legislation will be a significant step that 10, 15, 20 years from now that type of mining will be prohibited and the rules will be enforced. so coming from a region that, i've been told that you couldn't tell if it was midnight or noon based on the amount of soot and pollution in the air. now that that's certainly not the case, the world didn't come to an end we didn't lose thousands of jobs after the fact. we lost jobs because it was shipped overseas and -- to countries that didn't follow any kind of guidance or rules or regulations and we want to be a leder -- a leader now because those environmental practices the caller talked about are being used in china and india and those are not sustainable. we need to get in front of that and be able to be in a position to export that technology. host: last couple of calls
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here, cropwell, alabama, republican line, tee nasm hey, there. caller: mr. fetterman, thank you. i disagree with you on a lot of things, i see al gore being a hedge fund manager, he's trying to raise money. the 150 acres in your county, will you get that by eminent domain? guest: it's in the possession of the county. it was bought. host: and from the republican line. caller: c-span knows better than most people about our trying to drill on the leases now available to america, i mean to the oil drillers. i would think there's over a thousand, every time they started to drill, the environmentalists came in and
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got an injunction to stop them and being familiar with the coal business, i spent 33 years in the coal business and i sympathize with the guy from wayne, he zrunt the whole truth there either. what he should have said was, when the coal business was taken over by the big companies, that's when everything went to -- went to pot. we produced twice or three times more coal now with 14,000 miners than we used to with half a million and the mayor, the mayor needs to tune in to glen beck a little bit and find out 119,000 scientists are saying there is no global warming caused by carbon dioxide. host: let's get a response. final call from our guest. guest: what have i done to you, sir, making me listen to glen beck? again, we just would disagree on the political spectrum there. just because you want want to
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have a beer with al gore count men -- doesn't mean a lot of research, not that he's even developing a lot of research. this is a global consensus that climate change is real. some people despite all that choose to believe the opposite. there are people that believe that elvis is still alive too. at the end of the day, though, i think we need to arrive at a bipartisan solution here with respect to the -- to not only climate change but also a new energy revolution. i might also add, your ticket last fall, john mccain, you know, supports cap and trade as well too. and again, campaigned on the notion of weaning us off energy dependence from other countries. this is a very pragmatic bill, it won't pass otherwise if it's not. the environmental defense fund who i've worked with, is not agree -- is not a greenpeace or an extreme environmental group. this is a pragmatic piece of legislation that the business community has had input in and we also know that we need to
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have support from both sides of the aisle in order to move this forward. i would urge that caller to reconsider his position and whether you agree with global warming or not, this is about quality, blue collar job many that your brothersed in the coal industry and the steel industry have lost and taking us to a better place for next generation and if we are in fact right about climate change, this is already starting the process if we're wrong, we have a clean energy revolution here in our country that have created a lot of jobs for blue collar folks. host: testifying on the hill today, john fetterman, mayor of braddock, pennsylvania. thanks for your time this morning. guest: thank you for having me. >> you can see that hearing on our website at c-span.org. secretary of state hillary clinton is expected to hold a special briefing following her meeting with you the outgoing honduran president, that was set for 1:30 eastern we hope to have it live for you on c-span,
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but a quick reminder, the u.s. house gavels in at 2:00, we'll have committed live coverage of the house here on c-span. in the meantime, your phone calls and comments from today's "washington journal." minline -- 202-628- 0205. u.s. today put it this way, u.s. and russian summit yields crucial deals. "the new york times" as it as their lead story. this is a first step in a broader effort intended to reduce the threat of such weapons drastically, and to prevent their further spread to unstable regions. this is president obama's first
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visit to russia since taking office. this new treaty, to be finished by december, would be subject to ratification by the senate and could then lead to talks next year on more substantial reductions. they go on to write that the progress enacted to reestablish ties between the two l.b.o. countries, a year after russia's 4 with george of let the relationship more strain than at any time since the fall of the soviet union. they sealed the deal allowing did united states to send thousands of flights of troops to afghanistan through russian air space each year. armor the deal sets -- arm deals limit.
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russia has 200 -- 2787. the new numbers would bring the lowest -- the numbers will work to 1500. they could be quite significantly cut. china has 186. france has 300. first call from lawrenceville, georgia. mary on the democrats' line. >> good morning. host: good morning. caller: i just wanted to talk about the president. i watched him close to 4:00 this morning, and it was fantastic. i was so proud of him. host: what did he say or do that made you proud? caller: the way he presented
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himself to the russian people. the way she was received actually. -- the way he was received actually. i really believe he made headway there. they know we're not out to get them. host: thank you for calling. the second part of this visit dealt with a speech and economic graduation ceremony. that is something we will show you later today. president obama also met with putin. they formed a "basis of a good relation." after the meeting, a senior administration official described obama's reaction this way" i would say that he is very convinced that the relationship is making positive headway.
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" what do you make of this nuclear deal? caller: i believe any deal that limits nuclear weapons is a good deal. i also think president obama must address and russia's olation of the assault treaty, which i do not know if you are familiar, but it banned nuclear warheads. russia has currently several in operation that can carry up to 10 individual warheads, which means that they right now have the upper hand. we do not have that missile defense in europe, but they already violated this. what about that? that is my question. host: let's hear from evansville, indiana. donna you are on the line. what do make at this deal? caller: i believe the responsibilities of them -- i
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believe the responsibilities are very well taking care of by the united states. i believe all these countries trying to get nuclear weapons is buried dangerous. i think being concerned about the countries that have the weapons and had been very responsible is not as important as getting -- as checking countries that are not responsible, the ones that have the terrorists. i think that the united states should guard themselves. they have allies and israel -- in israel. they cannot protect those that are life-time allies. host: "the new york times"
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points out that it is an overdue, it's very modest step toward ridding each side of obsolete and extensive cold war legacy weapons." the number they are proposing for delivery vehicles is shockingly low. ralph peters talks about a desperate deal. "obama's moscow giveaway." the litany of agreements and frameworks implied that the united states benefited from all of the bus. we did not. we got nothing of real importance. but the government of the puppet master vladimir putin, virtually all it wanted. in moscow, this was christmas in july.
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kevin you are on the independent line from michigan caller:. caller: what the public does not know is they have a missile system. we had only one anti-ballistic missile system. it was dismantled about 25 years ago. why they are doing here is a token gesture. they should be concentrating on anti-ballistic missiles. host: what is the purpose than a token measure? of the cut in the long run to make it look like -- caller: in the long run to make it look like we're doing something.
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if you are going to spend money on technology, do it for anti- ballistic systems. who exactly are we protecting here? it is the economy. people need jobs. who are we protecting? the rich, corporate fat cats of the world? why are we doing all of this when we do not have a strong economy? people are not working. they do not even care what he is over there for. callerhost: let's hear from a cr from maryland. good morning. caller: at the bible says that -- the bible says that you did not need nuclear warfare. god will do that.
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this is a waste of time. [unintelligible] it is a very good step in the right direction by the president of the united states. caller: i appreciate you calling. republicans call this #-- >> we're asking about this headline out of moscow, "u.s. and russia in nuclear accord." financial times say the u.s. and russia pledged to make big cuts in their strategic nuclear arsenals and pursue closer tie bus failed to settle their most serious dispute, the u.s. plans to install an antiballistic missile in eastern europe. "usa today" puts it this way, they signed a joint
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understanding, committing their countries to nuclear arms reductions that would leave them between 1,500 and 1,675 deployed warheads each. the 1991 start treaty granted up to 6,000 warhead the follow uhup to that signed in 2002 allow toups 2,200 each. more numbers, russia has 13,000 total warheads and the u.s. has 9,400 but most are not operational, corkt the federation of american scientists. together they possess more than 90% of the world's nuclear arsenal. last quote from gary samore, top arms-control official with the national security council who said there's a lot of work to do on a new gnu treaty, the verification process will be very, very complex. san diego, democrats line, greg. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think there is no real reason why russia and the united states need or should be enemies at this point.
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china, with 1.5 billion people, increasingly is spending money on weaponry, both nuclear and conventional. i think china poses a threat to both russia and the united states, it's got a strong economic base, it really almost is going to dwarf russia as a threat in the years to come. so i think that, you know, the more the u.s. and russia can cooperate, the better. basically, to put it simply, we did win the cold war. eastern european countries are now free. what gorbachev, if he and stalin could have gone to certain nuclear war over the liberation of berlin. i mean they had the missiles then. they didn't just kind of
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disappear. but the soviet union just kind of quietly went into the night and gave up their empire and now europe is united and russia should be made part of europe and cooperation should be the name of the game because there are too many threats whether from terrorists organizations or from china. i can't underestimate the threat that, you know, is posed by, you know, 1.5 billion people, people who are going to need space to live and -- so i think it's natural and the more we can do to cooperate the better. host: thanks for your thoughts this morning. if you're using twitter already, you can follow us at c-spanwj, to get our guest lineup and other information
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and send in your messages, your tweets. here's one of them. the second step now is to start having nuclear free zones starting with the middle east no country should disarm until everyone does. hawaii, robert, the u.s. and russia have agreed to cut nuclear arms, at least in principle, what do you think? caller: i think they need to. but i think they need to cut them from hawaii first. the united states has been using hawaii to intimidate everybody in the world. first in the spanish-american war, actually in the overthrow, but i think it's a good thing that obama, i hate to call him president, i think he was born in the occupied territory of hawaii, the same as stalin was born in georgia, but there's an issue here of freedom for people and the people never
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place need to not be occupied, whether it's russia, whether it's america, whether it's anyone. i think nuclear weapons to get rid of them is good. first they need to come from hawaii because without having a free hawaii, you can never have peace in the world because we stand in the middle of everything and we had no business being there. we just went there because it was a big mess and we wanted to have the big thing with the spanish-american war. host: got the points, caller. asheville, north carolina, is it john? you're on the republican line. caller: i appreciate you taking this call. host: sure. caller: first of all, did the president read what he signed? host: why do you ask? caller: he doesn't read anything else? host: what are you referring to there? host: a document in washington, d.c., proposals, things of that
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nature. host: keep going, caller. caller: we need our nuclear weaponry? host: for what? caller: i'm a military person, i believe the safety of our people needs to be taken care of first, safety first. i'm american, i believe in american, apparently a president hussein does not believe in america. host: thanks for calling. more from the a.p., the president today met with vladimir putin, but also spoke at the economic school in moscow. here's one writeup. president obama working to drastically reshape u.s. relations with a skeptical russia said tuesday the two runtries are not, quote, destined to be antagonists. the pursuit of power is no long aerozero-sum game, speaking in the russian capital to graduates of the new economic school but also hoping to reach the whole nation. progress must be shared he said.
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florida, you're up now. caller: hi. host: it's pierre on the line, you're calling on the democrat line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i saw everything, what was going on, for the president of the united states to go to russia like that and for him to -- for a russian president to give him what he needs, every inch that russia give the president of the united states is good for us, we should be happy with the president. host: here are the words of the russian president medvedev at the news conference about the agreement they reached. >> we have both agreed on a joint standing of how we need to keep going in order to keep going in the future, but also we have reached the basic levels at which we'll promote cooperation in these areas. we have agreed on thresholds of both warheads and delivery
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vehicles with the understanding that this is a very, very specific issue in the sense that the statement we just signed with my colleague, it says our countries can have between 500 157bd,100 delivery vehicles and between 1,100 and 1,600 warheads. these are the the new parameters with which we'll carry on our dialogue and which we're hoping to achieve the final agreement, which will be incorporated into the new document. >> a segment from this morning's "washington journal," you can see the "washington journal" every morning at 7:00. the u.s. house back in at 2:00 eastern, a few seconds from now eight bills to be considered, including those dealing with land management and pat tent office funding. tomorrow the house hopes to
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work on agriculture programs. live house coverage here on c-span. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., july 7, 2009. i hereby appoint the honorable henry cuellar to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father coughlin. chaplain coughlin: o god, our source of life, liberty and ever-lasting happiness, our weekend's celebration of our nation's independence day was filled with parades, religious services, family events and a wonderful capital concert of songs and fire works on the west lawn of this capitol building. people were inspired to rededicate themselves to your service and to work for the
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justice and freedom of all your people. called to be representative of the people, congress must stand together to solidify the nation's security and meet fiscal responsibilities of our day. give all your grace, prudence and perseverance to address the needs of our times. we make our prayer with gracious humility and deepened faith in the power of your holy name and your kingdom come both now and forever. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from south carolina, congressman
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wilson. mr. wilson: everyone, including our guests in the gallery, please join in. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i request permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from south carolina is recognized. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, vice president joe biden recently admitted that the obama administration misread the economy when drafting their nearly trillion dollar spending bill. meanwhile, the american people
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have long known and house republicans have long argued that this administration actually misread history when putting together their massive borrowing bonanza. had the democrats followed presidents kennedy and reagan, they would have implemented the broad type of tax relief for american families and small businesses that has a proven record of stimulating the economy and creating jobs. today's continued decline in jobs is a symptom of a slow, bureaucratic-driven spending this administration put in place. our economy will recover but small businesses will be far better vehicles of job creation than big government expansion. by saddling future generations with such massive threat while threatening social security and hyper inflation and higher interest rates, this administration has misread history, misplaced its priorities and misspent american tax dollars. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: mr. speaker, british medical ethics advisor warnock proclaim that people that suffer from demenchia have a patriotic duty to die. she says the care that dementia draints government's resources for health care. she said that people will soon beland to put other people down if they are unable to look after themselves. if that isn't bad enough, she said if you're deminted you're wasting government resources. human beings are a drain on the government so they need to be put to death? mr. speaker, that sounds like a rather sick and deminted idea to me. government-run medicine, like in england, puts the government welfare above the public's welfare. it's the nature of the beast. recently, the president said in
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a town hall meeting, we could save money on health care in america by putting a spot to expensive procedures for people who have been diagnosed with terminal diseases. he said, quote, maybe you're better off not having a surgery, just taking a painkiller. now, is our government going to adopt an english system to determine who lives and who dies? doesn't sound like a healthy health care system to me. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. wolf: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. wolf: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, our economic house is crumbling. we are being bought piece by piece by china and saudi arabia. we are these and other -- we owe these and other countries billions. in years our entitlement programs we will have no money for research to fund cancer or alzheimer's disease or autism or other diseases. no money for science advances or for education. this congress cannot abandon
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the american people and leave our children and grandchildren to shoulder these awful burdens. there is a way to solve this dilemma. we can pass the bipartisan cooper-wolf legislation. this congress, this congress that we serve in now, is failing, is failing the american people. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alaska rise? mr. young: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. young: mr. speaker, last week we passed the cap and trade bill which is a terrible bill. it's a tax. and we celebrated independence day. independence day and a week before independence day we became more dependent on foreign countries for our fossil fuels. we have fossil fuels in the united states, and we need them. next year we are going to spend $552 billion buying oil from overseas. i think it's time that this congress accepts the fact that
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we have to have fossil fuels for the future to provide power for this country. let's do the right thing for this country and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: i ask permission to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. democrats in washington are pushing hard for a government takeover of health care. the result will be devastating for patients across the country. in countries that already have government-run health care like britain and canada, bureaucrats are put in charge of health care decisions and critical care is denied. look at the story of one woman. her dad suffers from a kidney tumor. sadly, britain's national health services is denying sarah's father this life-saving treatment. this case is not unique as patients across great britain are denied the care they need by the government's health care service. in much of canada, patients are
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even banned from paying for private health care. it would be a bad prescription for the american people. republicans have a better health care reform that provides high-quality health care coverage to every american and that doesn't put bureaucrats between patients and the care they need. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. madam, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on july 7, 2009, at 10:37 a.m. that the senate passed with an amendment requests a conference with the house and appoints conferees h.r. 2918. with best wishes i am.
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signed, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote on the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken after 6:30 p.m. today. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from guam rise? ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1275, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 96. h.r. 1275, a bill to direct the exchange of certain land in grand, san juan, and uintah counties, utah, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from guam, ms. bordallo, and the gentleman from alaska, mr. young, each
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will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, before i go any further, i'd like to thank the distinguished gentleman from alaska, the former chairman of the natural resources committee, for joining me in managing the bills from our committee here today. mr. speaker, h.r. 1275, introduced by our colleague, representative jim matheson, would direct the secretary of the interior to end into a language exchange with the state of utah for certain lands in grand san juan and uintah counties in utah. the legislation authorizes the exchanges of approximately 40,000 acres of federal land and minerals for approximately 42,000 acres of state lands and minerals.
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this exchange would place valuable conservation and recreation lands into public ownership while also benefiting public school funding in utah. many of the lands that the state of utah is proposing to transfer to the bureau of land management, the b.l.m., are lands within wilderness study areas, areas of critical environmental concern or other sensitive areas. many of the lands the state would acquire from the b.l.m. have a hypo tension for development -- high potential for development. and this would be put into a trust fund for public schools in utah. so i commend representative matheson for his hard work on and commitment to advancing h.r. 1275, many land exchanges in utah have been controversial in the past. but by actively working with all the stakeholders affected by this exchange, this bill now enjoys broad support. so, mr. speaker, i support h.r.
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1275, and i urge its adoption by the house today. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from alaska, mr. young. mr. young: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. young: h.r. 1275 authorizes a land exchange that ens hanses the state of utah to fund public education. in return for 36,000 acres, the government will receive 46,000 acres of land that is of higher conservation value and is believed to be environmentally sensitive. this legislation passed the house in the 109th and 110th congress and is supported by the local governments as well as environmental communities. i believe this is a good bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, i have no additional requests for time and would inquire of the minority leader whether they have any additional speakers.
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mr. young: i don't. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, i again urge members to support the bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1275, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- the gentlewoman from north carolina. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. the gentlewoman from guam, for
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what purpose? ms. bordallo: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1129. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1129, a bill to authorize the secretary of the interior to provide an annual grant to facilitate an iron working training program for native americans. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from guam, ms. boar dal la, -- ms. bordallo and the gentleman from alaska, mr. young, will each control 20 minutes. the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: i ask that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, h.r. 1129 would make grants available to fund a native american iron worker training prarm. the appropriations for this program would have been made for many years and this program provides both classroom and on
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the job iron work training for members of federally recognized indian tribes this program would also facilitate job placements for those tribal members who successfully complete the requirements of the program. with unemployment rates rising to a staggering rate of over 80% on some indian reservations this program is desperately needed. the iron worker training program provides native american participants with the knowledge and the ability to join a skilled labor force as a career. i want to commend our colleague, mr. lynch, of massachusetts for his hard work and dedication to this legislation, and i ask my colleagues to support its passage. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from alaska, mr. young. mr. young: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore:
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without objection. mr. young: i rise in support of h.r. 1129, which would create an iron working program for native americans. the manager for the majority has effectively explained the bill but i'd like to make a few additional comments. this country is suffering record unemployment and a few are suffering job lose worse than the rest of the country. i hope native americans when they've completed this program, jobs will be available for them. unfortunately if the environmental protection agency has any say, there will be fewer jobs. one of the first actions taken by the e.p.a. was to seek to revoke the a key permit issued to the navajo nation for the construction of a power plant employing the most advanced clean coal technology of the day. this is the desert rork project. the 1/2 roe ho nation president said it would where it hovers
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around 50%. this is a community that the -- this is something the community should fol low i hope my friends on the other side of the aisle consider job training makes sense only when the jobs are available. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: i yield such time as hawaii he may consume to the sponsor they have bill, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. lynch: i thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady from guam for yielding me this time. i'd also like to thank our chairman, nick rahall, and ranking member doc hastings of the national resources committee for their cooperation in allowing this bill to move forward. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1129, legislation to authorize the secretary of the interior to provide annual frants for the -- grants for
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the development of iron worker training programs for native americans. notably an identical version of this legislation passed the house of representatives under suspension of the bill's rules during the 110th congress by a vote of 302-72. currently only one ironworker training program specifically geared toward native americans exists in the united states. that is the highly successful national ironworker training prarm for american indians based in broadview, illinois. the broadview program stemmed from a strong and enduring partnership between the federal government's bureau of indian affairs and the iron workers' international union, one that's lasted over 35 years. working in conjunction with the international association of bridge, structural and ornamental iron workers, the broadview center provides highly specialized training in skills and fabricating and
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welding shop classes and training to native americans across the united states. upon completion of the program, each student possesses essential knowledge in union structure and history, oh shah safety regulations, blueprint reading and the welding of structural steel. they are placed as aparen -- apprentices as local iron working companies nationwide and are offered the opportunity to pursue high quality careers. h.r. 1129 will build on the zhofse broadview, illinois program by facilitating the establish of regional ironworking training centers of the united states through the use of interior adopt grants. the impetus behind the legislation is to provide occupational training to those residing in communities to afor
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the record them the opportunity to secure good jobs in the iron working trade and secure a future for themselves and their families. h.r. 1129 stems from and expands on the long standing relationship with the native american community. as a structural iron worker for 20 years, i've been a member of iron workers local seven for 30 years and i'm past president of that union. i am well aware of the long standing contribution made by native americans to the iron working industry. as noted by the iron workers international union and its president joe hunt, native americans have been part of iron worker history since 1886 when the st. lawrence river was bridged on tribal land in quebec and iron workers foreman first hired native americans as iron workers. my own role here, as an iron worker aparen dis, i -- apprentice, i worked under a
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number of native american foremen and general foremen, it was a number of native american journeyman iron workers who taught me how to weld and give me a chance at that trade as an iron worker foreman and general foreman myself, i had an opportunity to have a lot of young native american indians working in my crews, not only in the boston area but out in indiana and illinois as well as new mexico and arizona and i've had a long relationship with members from the navajo tribe, i actually lived for a while on the navajo reservation and i count those men and women as some of my closest friends and i am greatly indebted to them, also worked with members of the apache tribe and mo hawk tribe in the new england area and this will really, i think, give a wonderful opportunity to native americans who have sort
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of adopted the iron working industry as the family business and it was not uncommon for me to be as a caucasian a minority on a lot of the construction sites that i worked on in new mexico and, you know, in other parts of the country where american indians really provided the majority of the working members on those jobs. again, i'd like to thank chairman rahall and ranking member hastings for their wonderful support on this legislation. also, member dale kildee who has also put the -- put his shoulder to the wheel on this bill and i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 1129, with that, i yield the balance of our time. i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from alaska, mr. young. mr. young: does the gentlelady have any more speakers? there's no more speakers on this side, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: uh mr. speaker, i again urge -- mr. speaker, i again urge members to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1129. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative. ms. foxx: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina. merchandise foxx: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this measure will be postpone the gentlewoman from guam, for what purpose do you rise?
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ms. bordallo: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1945. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1945, a bill to require the secretary of the interior to conduct a study on the feasibility and sustainability of constructing a storageres. vaw, outlet works and a delivery system for the tule river indian tribe in the tule river system in the state of california to provide a water supply for domestic, municipal anding a chull -- agricultural and industrial purposes and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from guam, ms. bordallo, and the gentleman from alaska, mr. young, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. bordallo: mr. speaker, the
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tule river water development act, sponsored by our colleague from california, representative devon due necessary, would authorize the secretary of the bureau, acting through the bureau of reclamation to complete a feasibility study to evaluate alternatives for a water supply for the tule river triberes.er vation. this is an important first step in settling their water right claims. similar legislation passed the house in the last congress and i urge my colleagues to support the passage of h.r. 1945 today. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from alaska, mr. young. mr. young: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. young: this legislation was introduced by devon nunes and jim costa as a first step in
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improving the water supply for the tule river tribe. this authorizes a feasibility study to capture more surface watt thorne reservation. many areas throughout the west need new water storage to help meet water supply needs nor humans, fish, and wild live this will help to try to move one step closer to utilizing its water rights this legislation enjoys universal support from the tribe and nearby communities and is an excellent example of neighbors coming together for the common good. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan piece of legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from guam. ms. bordallo: if -- mr. speaker, i again urge members to support this bill, i have no further speakers and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from guam yields back the balance of the time. the question now is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1945? those in favor say aye.
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those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- ms. foxx: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative -- the gentlewoman from north carolina. ms. foxx: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1452. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 142 supporting national men's health week. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the
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gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch and the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: mr. speaker, i ask that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. lynch: mr. speaker, on behalf of the committee on oversight and government reform, i present house concurrent resolution 142 for consideration. this resolution expresses our support for the goals and ideals of the annual national men's health week. the observance of which is designed to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men. introduced by my colleague, mr. cummings of maryland on june 23, 2009 and reported out of the oversight committee on june 18, 2009, h.con.res. 142 enjoys strong bipartisan support. mr. speaker, according to the
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centers for disease control and prevention, nine of 10 of the leading cause -- causes of death in america including heart disease and cancer affect men as a significantly higher percentage than women. in addition, the c.d.c. has reported that women are 100% more likely than men to seek annual medical examinations and preventive health care. plfer, health statistics indicate that despite advances in medical care, men continue to live an average of approximately six fewer years than women. with african-american men having the lowest life expectancy. including prostate cancer and testicular cancer are treatable upon early detection. specifically, the use of prostate cancer specific antigen exams with coupled with self-testing for testicular
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cancer can lead to earlier detection and increase survival rates to nearly 100%. accordingly, we must do more to encourage healthy behavior within america's male population. a more concentrated focus on male-related health conditions, such as prons tate, colon and testicular cancer, along awith addressing heart health will go a long way to assuring that male has critical health information and treatment. in addition, it's important to remember that prevention and treatment of men's health conditions are critical not only to men but also to the health and well-being to the american family. and having just recently celebrated father's day, i believe it is important for this legislative body to recognize men's health from a family perspective. furthermore, while an effort to encourage prevention and wellness among the male population can help meet our primary goal of improving health outcomes an aggregate utilization of these
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preventative services will help lower health costs that are currently spiraling out of control. mr. speaker, since 1994, national men's health week has served as a catalyst for increased attention towards men's health issues. i strongly urge my colleagues to join me in supporting house concurrent resolution 142, recognizing the tremendous importance of these efforts. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. harper. mr. harper: thank you, mr. speaker. -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. harper: i rise in support of h.con.res 142, supporting national men's health week. since first being signed into law in 1994, national men's health week has been celebrated all over the nation during the week leading up to father's day as a way to raise men's health awareness and to promote a
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healthy way of living among men. men suffer from many health problems at a higher rate than women. they are almost twice more likely than women to die from heart disease. and men with three times more likely than women to die from heart attacks. diseases such as testicular cancer and prostate cancer hamper men all around the world. men can fight and survive these diseases. many health discrepancies between men and women can be attributed to lifestyle choices such as drinking and smoking with men more likely to partake in these practices. it has a shorter life span and poorer health than men. in reality, men are less likely than women to visit a doctor, missing opportunities to pinpoint and change unhealthy habits and to diagnosis and treat diseases. significant numbers of male-related health problems such as prostate, colon and
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testicular cancer could be detected and treated with men's greater awareness of theer susceptibility to these -- their susceptibility to these health problems. men diagnosed with these cansers have a high survival -- cancers have a high survival rate. tests such as exams and cholesterol screenings can detect many health problems early and increase the survival rate of these diseases to nearly 100%. national men's health week not only benefits men but also the important people in their lives. national men's health week encourages men and their families to increase their awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and medical checkups. moreover, better long-term health among men can contribute to fewer medical expenses for their families, for taxpayers and for employers. i encourage my fellow members to join me in supporting house concurrent resolution 142 is and i reserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: mr. speaker, at this time i don't believe we have any further speakers on this issue. so i'll continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i urge all members to support the passage of house concurrent resolution 142. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: i thank the gentleman from mississippi for his kind words and his support, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts yields back the balance of his time. the question now is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 142. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. harper: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi.
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mr. harper: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? mr. lynch: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 127. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 127. concurrent resolution recognizing the significance of national caribbean american heritage month. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch, and the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. lynch: thank you, mr. speaker.
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on behalf of the committee on oversight and government reform, i present house concurrent resolution 127 for consideration. this resolution expresses our support for the goals and ideals of national caribbean american heritage month, introduced by my colleague, representative barbara lee from california on may 14, 2009, and reported out of the oversight committee by unanimous consent on june 18, 2009. house concurrent resolution 127 enjoys the support of over 50 members of congress. since june of 2005, congress has taken time each year to recognize americans of caribbean dissent for their significant contributions to american culture and history during national caribbean american heritage month. beginning as early as the year 1619, generations of caribbean americans -- immigrants have come to america and significantly contributed their rich traditions and culture, ethnic and religious diversity to our social fabric. regrettably, we must acknowledge that many caribbean americans arrived in america against their own volition as
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slaves. many others came to this country in search of a better life for themselves and their children. and today over five million americans proudly share caribbean heritage. caribbean americans have also offered lasting contributions to every sector to our society, from public service, science, athletics, to business, education, entertainment. prominent caribbean americans includes such historical as alexander hamilton, who was born in the caribbean region, former secretary of state colin powell, eric holder, our current attorney general, and shirley chisholm, our first african-american congresswoman and first african-american candidate for president. other influential caribbean americans include harlem renaissance poet, claude mckay, actor and civil rights activist, harry belafonte, and sidney poitier, the first african-american actor to receive an academy award for
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best performance in a leading role. mr. speaker, these and countless other caribbean americans have made invaluable contributions to our nation, and it is fitting that we honor them today. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting house concurrent resolution 126, and reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. harper: i rise today in support of house concurrent resolution 127, recognizing the significance of national caribbean american heritage month. every year since 2006 our nation has recognized the contributions that caribbean americans during the month of june. the caribbean people have had a place in the history of the united states since its very beginning. the first caribbean people who emigrated to the united states did so in 1692 as workers who were brought to jamestown,
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virginia. during the centuries that followed, many people were brought to the united states from the caribbean as slaves. and since 1820, millions more have emigrated, bringing with them their talents and high values which have enriched our nation and assisted in its formation. many notable people in the history of the united states have strong caribbean ties. those already mentioned are certainly very important to the history of our country. alexander hamilton, not only the first secretary of the treasury, but also one of the authors of the federalist papers, was born in the caribbean. former secretary of state, colin powell, academy award winner sidney poitier and musician and social activist, harry belafonte, are all caribbean americans, as you have heard. many have contributed to every aspect to our nation, from the sciences to the armed forces. for all of these contributions we are grateful. the united states and the nations of the caribbean have had many traits that are
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indicative of our similarities with one another. the histories of the united states and the countries of the caribbean have faced similar trials of slavery, colonialism and the struggle for independence. the people who comprised our separate nations are similar in that we are all different coming from very diverse racial, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. in addition to celebrating the contribution caribbean americans have made to the united states, we honor these historical similarities between our nations. i ask my fellow members of congress to join me in recognizing the contributions of caribbean americans to the history of the united states and the way in which their presence enriches and strengthens our country. i support house concurrent resolution 127, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield such time as she may consume the lead sponsor of this measure, the gentlelady from california, ms. barbara lee. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, is recognized. ms. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. let me thank the gentleman from massachusetts for yielding and your leadership and for supporting and managing this resolution today. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.con.res 127, a resolution which i have authored for several years, recognizing the significance of national caribbean american heritage month. this resolution acknowledges the important contributions of caribbean americans, the ones that they have made the many contory -- the many contributions they have made to our nation's history and culture. let me begin by thanking chairman towns, ranking member issa, and the staff of the oversight and government reform committee on both sides for making this a bipartisan effort and for helping to bring this resolution to the floor today. thank you very much. i would also like to recognize many of my colleagues on this side, congresswoman donna christensen, congresswoman yvette clarke, congresswoman
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sheila jackson lee, congresswoman waters, congressman rangel, chairman john conyers, many, many members of congress for their tremendous leadership on issues relating to the caribbean. congresswoman christensen, who you will hear from in just a minute, from the virgin islands, has led health care reform efforts to ensure that any health care reform bill address -- must address strategies that deal with the disparities and communities of color. and for this, congresswoman christensen, dr. christensen, we are deeply grateful. i'd like to thank all the caribbean american organizations in washington, d.c., and across the country, that have worked so hard to make caribbean american heritage month 2009 a great success. as a longtime supporter of the caribbean and a frequent visitor to the region, i am very proud to see us celebrate this very important commemorative month for the fourth straight year.
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since congress first passed h.con.res 71 in february of 2006, the president has issued a proclamation recognizing caribbean american heritage month every month -- every year -- excuse me -- during the month of june. this year president obama issued a proclamation on june 2. and, mr. speaker, i'd like to ask for unanimous consent to insert that proclamation into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. lee: thank you. people of caribbean heritage reside in every part of our country. since 1820, millions of people have emigrated from the caribbean to the united states. throughout u.s. history, we have been fortunate to benefit from countless individuals of caribbean dissent who have contributed to american government, politics, business, arts, education and culture. including one of my personal mentors, the honorable shirley chisholm from brooklyn, new york. shirley chisholm was a woman who never forgot her roots in the caribbean. she was the first african-american and the first woman to seriously run a
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presidential campaign in 1972. she was also the first african-american woman elected to the house of representatives. and so personally i have to honor her today because i have to say that my political involvement began as a volunteer during her historic presidential campaign in 1972. and through her mentorship she strengthened my interest in issues important to the africans both here and the united states and abroad. during caribbean american heritage month, we recognize the important contributions of people like shirley chisholm, as well as alexander hamilton, hazel scott, sidney poitier, wyclef any, celia cruz, harry belafonte and sheila jackson lee, yvette clarke and many who have shaped the history of our country. caribbean american heritage month provides us with an opportunity to strengthen our
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long-term partnerships with nations of the caribbean community through greater dialogue and engagement. it must not stop with june. from disaster preparedness, to trade and energy, education and the campaign against h.i.v. and aids, we share a number of mutual policy interests with our caribbean neighbors. last month we went to address these issues in the caribbean forum held annually thone hill in the caribbean heritage month. many people were able to meet to better integrate policy interests between the united states and caribbean countries. recent global events from the sharp rise in food and energy price, a series of devastating storms and the global economic downturn have acutely affected the neesm caribbean, particularly our friends in haiti. these ongoing regional and global crises highlight the need for continuing engagement and involvement with innovative
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policy solutions with our neighbors. i'm pleased to see the obama administration's recent announcement of increased foreign assistance to haiti and the president's participation in the summit of the americas held in trinidad. these are all signs of this administration's fresh and new engagement with the region. caribbean american heritage month also reminds office the large and diverse constituencies of caribbean americans in our nation and provided us with an opportunity to send a message of good will to the caribbean community both here and abroad. this month, also provided us with an opportunity to share in the rich culture of our neighbors through showcases of caribbean art, festivals, concerts, and films. in my own district in oakland, california, the caribbean american association of northern california celebrate through the mutual concertsed on family picnics. they hosted a third annual
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caribbean american legacy celebration honoring the cricks of caribbean americans to our country. just as we should recognize the achievements of the many diverse people that make up this government, the united states government should continue to celebrate the rich history and diversity of caribbean americans and work each and every day to ensure that the issues of concern to caribbean americans and the nation's the caribbean are included in our policy debates here in congress. i ask all my colleagues to join me in supporting this measure to honor and salute the caribbean american community anto acknowledge their rich and varied contributions to the history, culture and progress of the united states. thank you again, thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: i have no other speaker at this moment, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. lynch: mr. speaker, at this time i would like to yield for three minutes to a co-sponsor of this measure, the gentlelady from the u.s. virgin islands, donna christensen. for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the virgin islands is recognized for three minutes. mrs. christensen: as a person of caribbean american descent, i proudly rise in support of house concurrent resolution 127 and applaud congresswoman barbara lee for leading this effort to recognize our joint and special heritage. the ties between the united states and its close neighbors to the south are ones that go back to the founding of our early colonies, the fithe for independence and the founding of this country. george washington, our first president, visited family in barbados. as you've heard many time this is afternoon, alexander hamilton, hid aze decamp a revolutionary war hero, chief author of the federalist papers
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was born in nevis and raised in st. croix. the contributions of people from the caribbean to this country are countless and invaluable and reason to celebrate. members of the congressional black caucus came to the floor to speak about those individuals and you've heard some this afternoon. the true test of the homage we pay is what happens going forward and the step take within president obama's adendance and leadership at the summit of -- attendance and leadership at the summit of the americas bodes well for that future. from the inclusion of caribbean countries and pepfar to the forgiveness of haiti's debt, to shirley chisholm's program for students in the united states and caribbean and many other initiative the congressional black caucus has actively fostered the relationship to
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both the region and our country. it's imperative we recognize the special heritage we the people of the caribbean and the people of the united states share and each to each other. i chiang chairwoman lee for introducing this legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. lynch from massachusetts. mr. lynch: i thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i would like to yield for three minutes to the gentleman from georgia, also a co-sponsor of this resolution, mr. hank johnson for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson is recognized for three minutes. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent
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resolution -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes on the current resolution we have before the house. mr. johnson: house concurrent resolution 135 and i ask unanimous consent, mr. speaker that all members have -- mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i rise in support of caribbean heritage month. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. we have had -- as has been pointed out, weved had tremendous -- we've had tremendous things that have been done by our friends from the caribbean. and it's only just that we
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recognize them today for their achievements that they have procured not just for folks of caribbean descent, but also for all americans. there have been great contributions and there will continue to be great contributions and -- and, mr. speaker, i believe that in this congress we have a number of folks from the caribbean, including my good friend and colleague donna christensen. her quest has been on health care for the time she has been in office and she's getting ready to have her dreams
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realized with the good start we're going to do on health care. then not to leave anyone out, i do want to recognize my colleague and classmen, yvette clarke, who as a staunch advocate for small businesses, she is poised to do great things on behalf of small businesses. i admire her for what she has done already and what she will do in the future. with that, mr. speaker, i will yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: i have no other speakers at the moment, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. lynch. mr. lynch: mr. speaker, i
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believe we have no further speakers, i continue to reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. harper from mississippi. mr. harper: i urge all members to support the passage of house concurrent resolution 127 and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch. mr. lynch: in conclusion, i ask all our members to support ms. barbara lee, the lead sponsor of this legislation, in support of caribbean history month and i ask all of our members to join her in that effort. i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question before the house is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 127? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are -- >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from from mississippi. mr. harper: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point ofrder that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 135. the speaker pro tempore: he clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: union calendar number 176, house concurrent resolution 135, concurrent resolution directing the architect of the capitol to place a marker in emancipation
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hall in the capitol visitor center which acknowledges the role that slave labor played in the construction of the united states capitol and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, and the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. chairman. before i get started, i will say that i appreciate the way that the speaker is conducting this hearing and conducting himself throughout the process. i appreciate that. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous matter on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: i yield myself such time as i may consume.
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mr. speaker, -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: in may of 2005, congressional leadership appointed a task force to study the contributions of enslaved african-americans to the construction of this great edifice, our united states capitol. the task force was also asked to recommend appropriate steps to take to recognize their contribution. in support of that effort, the architectural historian to the architect of the capitol produced a report on the contributions of slave laborers to the capitol's construction during the -- during the 110th congress, they received recommendations of the task force, chaired by the gentleman from georgia, my colleague and mentor congressman john lewis. the task force devoted
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considerable time and effort to reviewing the architect's report on the use of slaves during the capitol's construction and developing recommendations. mr. speaker, americans now living cannot remove the stain of our nation's past, but we can admit our fore bear's sin. we must acknowledge the sacrifices of those americans who, without choice, worked to build a government that kept them in bondage. the task forces -- the task force's report recommended a number of steps to do what we can. several of their recommendations, including the naming of emancipation hall in the new capitol visitor's center have already been completed. the placement of a marker in emancipation hall requires further legislative action as
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embodied in this resolution. this resolution will provide for the installation of a marker by the architect of the capitol under the supervision of the house administration committee and the senate committee on rules and administration. as the resolution contemplates the committees will make every effort to use some of the original slave 1/4ried stones. these stones were removed from the capitol during the previous renovations and are held in storage. i urge all members to support this legislation which has fating commemoration of slave laborerers' contribution to this temple of democracy. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. harper, is
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-- mississippi, mr. harper, is recognized. mr. harper: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. harper: i rise in support of house concurrent resolution 135, which will enhance the educational offerings of the capitol visitor center by highlighting the contribution by enslaved african-americans to the construction of the u.s. capitol building. far too often the detailed rise of our capitol building fails to recognize the vital contributions by slave laborers. as a result of the slave labor task force we are better equipped to fill that void and will take steps toward doing so here today. the capitol visitor center has quickly become a major attraction visiting our city, seeking a greater understanding of the past. it is therefore appropriate that the emancipation hall and c.v.c. house a former recognition of these slave laborers, further educationing
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those visiting. i urge passage of this legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i would now yield five minutes to the honorable congressman from georgia and sponsor of this resolution, john lewis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i want to thank my colleague and friend from georgia for yielding the time. mr. speaker, i rise today to help tell the story of our nation's capitol building. we must recognize all of the hands that helped to construct this temple of freedom. we must continue to teach the full history of this country
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and to do that we must recognize the role that african-american slaves played in the construction of our nation's capitol. i would like to thank chairman brady and ranking member lungren for all their efforts to bring this bill to the floor and also the staff, the house administration committee and my own staff for their work and perseverance to pass this bill. additionally, mr. speaker, i want to thank and recognize senator blanche lincoln, who has championed the work of the slave labor task force in the senate. mr. speaker, for too long, the use of slave laborers and the construction of the united states capitol has gone untold. we look back today not to open old wounds but to ensure that we tell the story, the whole
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story, the complete story of those slaves so they are never forgotten. slavery is part of our nation's history of which we are not proud. however, we should not run or hide from it. the history of the capitol, like the history of our nation, should be complete as thousands of visitors walk through our nation's capitol, they leave without knowing the full history of its construction. today, there's nothing, not one thing, not one note that tells the story of the african-american slaves who have built this magnificent building. no drawings, no muriel, no statues, nothing but nothing. mr. speaker, with this resolution this untold story will now be told.
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thanks to the work of the slave labor task force, we will now honor those slaves who built our temple of freedom. we need something that visitors can see, that visitors can feel and which communicates the back breaking labor that slaves completed to help construct our capitol. passage of this resolution will create a historic marker in the capitol visitor center made of stone laid by slabe laborers to stand testament to their sacrifices. this physical and permanent marker will pay tribute to the blood, sweat and tears of the african-american slaves who helped build this magnificent building and ensure that their story is told and never, never,
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ever forgotten. i urge all of my colleagues to support the passage of this resolution. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i have no other members who wish to speak at this moment, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i would now like to yield three minutes to my friend and the gentlelady from the virgin islands, dr. donna christensen, and i'm proud to report, mr. speaker, that she has distinguished herself as one of the foremost experts on the issue of america in this congress where she served for the past 14 years. and so it's my great pleasure
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to introduce my friend and member of the powerful energy and commerce committee, which has taken jurisdiction, primary jurisdiction of our health issues, health care reform. i'd like to turn it to congresswoman donna christensen for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the u.s. virgin islands is recognized for three minutes. mrs. christensen: thank you. i thank my colleague for yielding and for those kind words. mr. speaker, i rise in support of house concurrent resolution 135, which would have the work of enslaved african-americans in the building of our historic capitol building memorialized for this generation and for prosperity. and i applaud, thank and honor the lead sponsor, the mentor of all of us, congressman john lewis, for this resolution and for his unwavering commitment to justice.
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the architect of the capitol's 2005 report entitled history of slave laborers and the construction of the united states capitol clearly outlines the contributions of, quote, the slaves who youried the stone, cut the timber and formed and fired the bricks that became our nation's temple of freedom, end of quote. i am sure that there are many who will wonder why this is important, why is it necessary to have a marker placed in the capitol visitor center that acknowledges the work of the unfree in the construction of the capitol? in response, let me say it is important because it is part of the american story. it is an integral part of the fabric of our history, which runs from its foundings, on the freedoms of justice, equality, where today where we have witnessed the tylenols and tears and prayers of hundreds of ears answered in the contributions of the descendents of those african-americans and every every defer of american life -- endeavor of american life
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today. and that story is one of redemption. it points to the unique quality of our nation and the continuous striving to achieve those ideals of freedom, equality and justice. mr. speaker, while some may see irony in the fact that it was hands of the then unfree that forged the structure that has become the temple of freedom for the entire world, we see it as the hand of god pointing as always to the lives of the least of these as precious in his sight. there should be a marker in the capitol visitor's center because it is an appropriate way to mark how far this country has come and to show countries around the world that the impossible is indeed possible. the marker needs to be placed to finally give voice to those whose silent witness to the potential of this country was forged in their blood, sweat and tears, and i urge my colleagues to vote aye for this resolution. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the
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balance of her time. the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i have no members who wish to speak at the moment. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. i'd inquire whether or not there are any additional speakers on the other side of the aisle, any of my friends friends. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: no further speakers, the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, again, i would want to commend the conscience of the congress, the honorable congressman from georgia, the great state, and commend him for taking on this measure and proceeding with it to conclusion, and i want to congratulate you, sir, for this and for all of the things that
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you will continue to do to make sure that every -- everyone's contribution throughout history of this great country is recognized. and with that i will yield the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back the balance of his time. the question is now, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution number 135? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i would ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i'd ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing
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until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from the u.s. virgin islands rise? mrs. christensen: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 131. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: union calendar number 75, house concurrent resolution 131. concurrent resolution directing the architect of the capitol to engrave the pledge of allegiance to the flag and the national motto of "in god we trust" in the capitol visitor center.
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mrs. christensen: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman will suspend. pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from the u.s. virgin islands, mrs. christensen, and the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from the virgin islands. mrs. christensen: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. christensen: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. christensen: thank you. this resolution, introduced by the gentleman from california, mr. daniel lungren, requires the architect of the capitol to engrave the pledge of allegiance and the national
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motto "in god we trust" in the capitol visitor center. the details of the engraving, including their locations, would be approved in advance by the house administration committee and the senate rules and administration committee. various members have expressed support for this proposal, which the committee approved by voice vote. the cost of these engravings has been estimated by the architect as less than $100,000. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. harper: i'm honored to rise today in support of house concurrent resolution 131, and certainly greatly appreciate the leadership of congressman dan lungren on this matter, who is delayed by travel and unable to be here at this time. this resolution would direct the architect of the capitol to engrave our national motto "in god we trust" and the pledge of allegiance in the capitol visitor center. the installation of these two references will be a reminder of the importance of our
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founders and what they placed on the guidance of providence in the birth and development and the future of our nation. the declaration of independence, our nation's first national document, spoke to inalienable rights given to by our creator. those men acknowledged that in signing that document, one that would be seen as high treason by the king of england, that they were placing themselves under the protection of divine providence. when congress adopted our great seal in 1782, included in its design were numerous illusions to biblical references, and the seal was marked by the words providence has favored our undertakings. as the founders were drafting the constitution, numerous sources point to their collective reliance on god for direction and wisdom. in 1787, when the constitution was framed at the convention in philadelphia, benjamin franklin reminded the delegates to that
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kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future. during the war of 1812, when francis scott key penned the "star spangled banner," he included in the final stanza, praise the power that made us a nation, when the cause is just, this be our motto in god we trust. these glimpses into our history show but a few glimpses of the national consciousness that served as a prelude to our national motto. the establishment of in god we trust as the nation's motto sprang from a letter. it urged treasury secretary chase to install upon our currency some indication for future generations of the nation's religious consciousness. reverend watkinson was concerned the united states
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might be shattered beyond recognition by the civil war. secretary chase agreed and directed the director of the u.s. mint that no nation can be strong except for in the strength of god or safe except in his defense. the presidency of dwight eisenhower saw the codification of our national motto and the pledge of allegiance as we know it. on flag day 1954, president eisenhower signed a bill making the pledge of allegiance as we know it today. two years later he made "in god we trust" our national motto. by incorporated our national motto and the pledge of allegiance as permanent fixtures, we'll provide further testimony to our nation's rich history and the degree to which these two statements reflect
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the philosophical foundation of these united states. at this time, i would like to enter into the record of those of my colleagues who, in addition to the 160 co-sponsors of house concurrent resolution 131 wish to be added, but were unable due to time constraints. those are -- the honorable roscoe bartlett of maryland, the honorable roy blunt of missouri, the honorable bill cassidy of louisiana, the honorable crenshaw of florida, the honorable david dreier of california, the honorable elton gallegly of california, the honorable brett guthrie of kentucky, the honorable darrell issa of california, the honorable lynn jenkins of kansas, the honorable tim johnson of illinois, the honorable blaine luetkemeyer of missouri, the hon i can't believe moran of kansas, the honorable bill shuste over pennsylvania and the honorable pat tiberi of ohio. i'm proud to stand in support
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of this resolution and urge my colleague's support. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time they have gentlewoman from the u.s. virgin islands. mrs. christensen: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: i yield three minutes to mr. poe, the distinguished gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. poe: i appreciate the gentleman yielding. this legislation basically directs the architect of the capitol to quit ignoring history, just like the last piece of legislation where it's not mentioned anywhere in emancipation hall or the visitor's center that this capitol was built in due part by slave labor. neither does that expensive visitor center mention any religious history this country has. i don't know if the architect of the capitol doesn't like the pledge or approve of the national motto "in god we trust," otherwise both of those would already be in this expensive visitor's center.
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both mention god and it appears that the visitor's center, the way it's conducted and constructed wishes to disown and deny our religious heritage. the -- you go to the visitor's center and you're led to believe that the national motto is not "in god we trust" but e plure bus ewe numb. because it's never mentioned -- e pluribus unum because it's never mentioned in the video visitors see. the national motto is "in god we trust," that is the national motto and it should remain as such. our religious history is part of american history. when the founds of the country got together in the continental congress, before they decided to draft this new concept of freedom and liberty, the benjamin franklin made the comment, if the good lord is concerned about the birds who fall from the air, certainly he would be concerned about the birth of a new nation.
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with that, the members of the continental congress knelt down and prayed. we have continued that tradition every day since the continental congress. we start every day the same way. when the house is called to order, the first order of business is a prayer. the second order of business is the pledge of allegiance to the flag. it's important that we continue those traditions but it's also important that people who come to the capitol understand that that is part of our routine. you know, mr. speaker, unless the lord watches over this house, the builders build in vain. unless the lord watches over the city, those who watch watch in vain. above the flag behind you, mr. speaker, is the phrase "in god we trust," it's not to the side or below it, it's above it, symbolic of what we do each day, we pray then have the pledge of allegiance. i strongly support this legislation to make sure the architect of the capitol does not deny our history, because religion is part of our history
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whether the architect of the capitol likes it or not. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the u.s. virgin islands. mrs. christensen: i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper. mr. harper: i yield back the balance of my time the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman the u.s. virgin islands. mrs. christensen: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution number 131? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative -- mr. harper: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. johnson: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3114. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3114 a bill to authorize the director of the united states patent and trademark office to use funds made available under the trademark act of 1946 for patent operations in order to avoid furloughs and reductions-in-force and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, and the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. ski unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under
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consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. johnson: i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: this bill will help the patent and trademark office retain educated and trained employees who face the possibility of furlough and reduction in force due to the current economic downturn. it is with great urgency that i bring this bill to the floor today. we have recently been informed by the department of commerce and the patent and trademark office that the current downturn in patent fee revenues could lead to employee furloughs. the u.s. p.t.o. is a user-friendly funded organization and the turn turn in the economy has led to a steep drop in revenues. u.s. p.t.o. management has
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already shaved over $120 million from its current budget through various cost savings. however, june's receipts show that those cuts may not be sufficient. a budget shortfall is a very real possibility which could necessitate furloughs and if severe enough a reduction in force. now is not the time to impede the economic stimulating activity at the patent office. now more than ever we need to foster innovation to help the u.s. economy rebound. this century has seen an explosion in patent applications filed. even though the p.t.o. has hired over 1,000 examiners each year for the past several years, this explosion has led to a current inventory of about 1.2 million pending
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applications. that is 1.2 million potential patents that could provide the foundation for new businesses and new jobs. because of this backlog, inventors are waiting an average of 32 months to get their patents approve nsmed some cases, such as communications and computer related technologies, the wait is much longer this backlog means a delay in the creation of new products or startup companies that would generate new jobs and research and development investment. now is not the time to exacerbate this problem, furloughing employees will only increase the backlog and the consequent delays. in order to help the u.s. -- to help the u.s. p.t.o. get through next year, we have
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identified a surplus in the trademark operation at the u.s. p.t.o. the bill we are considering today would permit the director of the u.s. p.t.o. to use a portion of that surplus to prevent the furlough of u.s. p.t.o. employees. rest assured, mr. speaker, that this is not robbing peter to pay paul. any trademark money used for patent operations would be recovered by a surcharge on the patent fees paid by those who benefit from the efforts of the patent workforce. i think it's pretty shameful that throughout the years we have not fully funded the number of employees that this agency needs to fulfill its mandate, so now in the 110th
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congress, we're seeking to use this lull period if you will, because the number of applications will pick up but we can use this period with our employees, our current employees, to put a dent in that $1.-- in that 1.2 million applications that exist currently that are on file. and this inefficiency in government with respect to the patent and trademark office stifles commercial activity, and it -- it just doesn't make any sense for the agency to not have been funded to begin with and staffed with an adequate
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amount of employees to meet the demand. this bill -- it's our understanding, mr. speaker, that with the department of commerce and the u.s. p.t.o. agreement that the money raised by the surcharge will be used to pay the trademark operation for the money borrowed from it. the surcharge will be no more and no less than what is needed to repay the loan. this bill is a limited and temporary exception to the statutory fence built around trademark fees. it will last only until june 30 of next year. it requires that all fees used for patent payroll purposes be recovered through surcharges on the patent operation.
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it ensures, mr. speaker, that furloughs or reduction in force will not occur in the trademark operation as a consequence of the patent operations needs. this bill will ensure that will we retain the highly qualified and experienced patent examiners that helped innovaters protect important technological gains and we certainly need to do all we can now especially to make it more efficient for those who would create new products in this rapidly changing environment that will lead to jobs for our citizens. i murge my colleagues to join -- i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this measure and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from texas, mr. poe. mr. poe:. mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: given the ongoing economic downturn in this country, patent fee collections at the patent and trademark office are running short based on earlier estimates. if things do not improve, the agency must initiate furloughs of its staff in the fall and outcome -- an outcome that no one wants. aside from affecting the individual workers, mostly examiners, these furloughs would create another setback in the reduction of application backlogs and in the processing of new applications. the agency has reduced their fees by $125 million in cuts. but the p.t.o. cannot accurately estimate how much additional revenue it needs to survive through this fiscal year. h.r. 3114, in response to this crisis, allows the director to shift necessary funds from the trademark ledger to patent
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operations through june 30, 2010, less than a year from now. the bill also requires the patent office to reimburse the treat mark office for any funds reassigned to it within the c.b.o.'s five-year scoring window. the bill also is an appropriate legislative response because trademark operations currently have a projected surplus of $60 million to $70 million. in addition, there's precedence for allowing such an intraagency revenue transfer, twice in the past 10 year the trademark office borrowed more than $24 million from patent operations. this is an unfortunate but necessary response to a funding crisis at an agency that is crucial to the economic vy tilt of this country. -- vitality of this country. this industry accounts for over half of u.s. exports and 40% of our economic growth. these industries provides millions of jobs for americans with high-paying salaries. patents encourage innovation
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and provide incentives to create, build and market new products. delays in obtaining patents stifle entrepreneurship in our country. we want new ideas, new technologies and new patents. america has always been the nation of great inventors. now we must protect those inventors and their inventions with timely patents. mr. speaker, this bill won't cure all that ails the patent and trademark office long term. for that we need the other body to confirm the new p.t.o. director who will work with congress to implement fundamental change to the agency. but failure to enact h.r. 4113 will place p.t. ofrlt in an even deeper hole that jeopardizes jobs, damages a crucial component of our national economy. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3114, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, i yield back -- well, let me ask this question, if i may, mr. speaker. does the gentleman from texas have any additional speakers? mr. poe: i have no other speakers. i'm prepared to yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. johnson: i'll yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all right. the gentleman from georgia yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3114. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are -- mr. poe: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. poe: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not
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present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12-a of ru
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chairman patrick leahy held a
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press conference about the nomination of sonia sotomayor. this is about 20 minutes. >> thank you. good morning. today i'm pleased to say i was -- to stand with this impressive group of leaders and advocates representing law enforcement agencies from across the country. they're here to support president obama's historic nomination of judge sonia sotomayor to the supreme court. as many of the law enforcement leaders here can attest, judge sotomayor's criminal justice record on and off the bench is exemplary. from her years as a prosecutor
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in the new york city office to her serving as a judge in criminal court, she has a good record. i'm going to release a comprehensive study that speaks to judge sotomayor's record of being tough on crime. we reviewed more than 800 criminal cases. it can be said with confidence that judge sotomayor is unquestionably a consensus judge of criminal justice issues. in fact, judge sotomayor's issues proves she's a moderate judge whose decisions in criminal cases rarely differ from those of her colleagues in the federal air. in more than 400 criminal cases she sided with republican-appointed judges, when those considered the same arguments and on the same panel as judge sotomayor, they agreed
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with her more than 97% of the time. i say this because she treats criminal matters not as a partisan matter but as a nonpartisan matter. as the study reveals, on the appellate court she affirmed criminal convictions 92% of the time, reversing convictions only % of the time. she was particularly known for upholding sentences in the worst offenses. she upheld judgments in terrorist and crime cases. a lot of this reflects her experience as a prosecutor where she gained practical experience about the real world challenges and the dangers police officers face every day. as a prosecutor, she faced those -- she dealt with those police officers every day. she learned about the frustration and sense of frustration crime victims
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experienced. she works with police officers as a prosecutor and worked side by side with crime victims in her quest for justice for these ordinary americans. it's no surprise to me she has a strong record of being fair to the police in criminal cases. when the country hears from her next week at her confirmation hearing, i have no doubt it will agree with these groups, the fra tern -- from termed or over police, the national association of police organization, the national sheriff's association, the national district attorney's association where i had the honor to serve once as vice president the vice president. the national organization of black law enforcement exacttive the federal law enforcement officers association, the national latino peace officer's sorkuation and the police executive research forum are all rebted here. they all say she's an
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impressive, qualified nominee to serve on the nation's highest court. one last thing i should mention. justice -- just this morning, the american bar association announced they gave her a unanimous well qualified rating of judge sotomayor. that's the highest rating that the american bar association can give any judge. they did it unanimously. it's a confidential peer review evaluation of her professional qualifications he integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament, that resulted in the highest rating possible. the national -- i want to give these national law enforcement leaders to say a few words. we're going to be hearing from david heller, the national vice president of the fraternaled or over police. at some point i'll slip out because we go into session at
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12:00. they've asked all senators to be there, they're swearing in a new senator, something that happens every so often, and i think all senators, republicans and democrats alike, will want to be there david? >> the legal defense fund, senator sessions raised some concerns about. >> they can raise the concerns if they want. this is a mainstream civil rights organization that is just like mayor bloomberg and other, i'm proud of what they've done. it seems to me, some people seem to worry if you have somebody that actually represents people maybe in minorities, that somehow that's suspicious. i don't know. i don't feel that way at all. >> thank you, senator. my name is dave heller, national vice president for the fraternaled or of police, i'm
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here today at the request of our national president, chuck canterbury, who due to illness could not be here today. we are here to pledge our continued support of the f.o.p., the nation's largest law enforcement labor organization to support judge sotomayor for the supreme court of the united states of america. i think it says a lot about her character that a young, fresh lawyer, out of yale, decides to begin her legal career as a prosecutor in the district of manhattan at a time when crime in our urban areas was running rampant. in the five years she was at that office, she put a lot of bad guys in jail. she forged a genuine respect for the men and women work thelling -- working the beat in manhattan. in 1992, she was nominated by president george h.w. bush to the state court in the u.s.
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district court. two years later, she was nominated by president clinton to the u.s. court of appeals for district two. she's known for weighing the facts before rendering a decision. having reviewed numerous rulings she's made which toughed on -- touched on law enforcement officer, this is a judge that any beat officer can and will support. it's for that reason that the executive board unanimously voted to endorse her for the united states supreme court. i am proud to be here this morning and we as an organization stand ready to assist in her confirmation. thank you. >> good afternoon, or good morning. my bill is -- my name is bill johnson. we represent 241,000 sworn law
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enforcement officers, primarily in the largest cities of the united states. thank you, chairman leahy, on behalf of our association, i'd like to thank you for all you've done to support the law enforcement community. it's a pleasure to stand here today with you and represent the criminal justice organizations in support of judge sotomayor's nomination to the supreme court. throughout her career, judge sotomayor has worked at almost every level of the judicial system, giving her a depth of experience and knowledge that will be invaluable on the nation's highest court. she was a prosecutor and corporate litigator before her nomination to the united states district court in 1991. a year later, president clinton promoted her to the court of appeals for the second circuit, where she served for the past 11 years. through her years of trial experience as an assistant district attorney she gained an understanding of what law enforcement officers go through day in and day out of their jobs. her support of police is
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evident in the rulings and findings she's issued. judge sotomayor has shown as a jurist, she has a keen awareness of the real world imple cases of judicial rulings, an important aspect when it comes to evaluating actions of lawence forcement officers and keeping officers safe. napo believes her extensive experience in the judicial system and the knowledge she's gained as a prosecutor and judge will serve our nation well. therefore we join our colleagues urging the senate judiciary committee to i prove the nomination of judge sotomayor to the united states supreme court. >> good morning. my name is joseph mcmillan, national president for the national organization of black law enforcement executives. i'd like to thank chairman layly and the judiciary committee for allowing noble to
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participate in this and to express my support for judge sotomayor to the supreme court. noble strongly supports president obama's selection of jouge sotomayor as his first nominationed to the supreme court. throughout her career she has shown she has the tenacity, intelligence and legal prowess needed to serve as a supreme court justice. her record reflects that she thoroughly prepares and investigates all angles of a matter and provides balanced opinions that are consistent with the law. judge sotomayor's experience as a prosecutor, litigator, professor, and judge will be an asset to the supreme court. noble is certain that judge sotomayor will bring the experience and lessons learned as a prosecutor and jurist to the cases heard by the court. the law enforcement community appreciates when members of the highest court have experience with matters faced every day by officers across the nation. noble is truly pleased to provide support of judge
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sotomayor's confirmation as the 111th justice on the supreme court of the united states. we stand ready to assist her in any way possible. thank you. >> good morning. i'm the president of the national latino peace officer association and i'm chief of police in austin, texas. i stand here before my colleagues to strongly endorse the nomination and confirmation of the justice. we're not here because we're latinos, we're -- and we're not supporting her because she's a latina, we're supporting her first and foremost because she's qualified, she has the experience, education, and the temperament to be an outstanding justice. as a police officer, i'm excited and our members are excited that we're going to have a supreme court justice that has worked in the trenches in the front lines of american law enforcement, keeping our community safe. we believe that that perspective from the front line will serve the american public well, will serve the american
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law enforcement well. as to senator sessions' comments regarding her partiesuation p pation you brought up, i believe -- parties 35eugs you brought up, i believe all views have the right to aggressive representation and advocacy. i believe that to question somebody's qualifications based on her advocacy for whatever the view may be is not part of this equation. should not be part of this equation. that would be like saying that someone who was a defense attorney that defended criminals, defended rapists or murderers was somehow disqualified from the bench. i can tell you we in law enforcement support people, not based on their advocacy in the past but based on temperament and qualifications. when you take a look at her record he education and experience, it is clear, as you can see from the unity of law enforcement, she's qualified. we look forward to seeing her confirmed. thank you.
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>> good morning. i'm john adler, national president of the federal law enforcement officers association. i'd like to thank chairman leahy as well as all my partner organizations here, standing together in support of the nomination for judge sotomayor. as the national president for the federal law enforcement officers association, i stand ready to support president obama's nomination of judge sonia sotomayor to the supreme court. she possesses the requisite intellect, character and experience a supreme court justice should have. i believe she's follow the rule of law and not the bullying of interest groups. i expect judge sotomayor will decide cases objectively. we're not looking for assurance that she'll be pro-law enforcement in all her
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decisions. it would only undermine the justice system. we only ask that she remain loyal to the rule of law. when the judiciary committee begins its hearings next week, i ohope all members support senator leahy. seize upon what's readily apparent to the objective mind and support her as our country's next associate justice of the supreme court. thank you. >> thank you. i'm joe castle, i'm an elected state's attorney for maryland and president of the national district attorney's association and we are here, we have early on voted to support the confirmation of judge sotomayor. we also, as part of our
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examination, pulled a number of her cases, reviewed the cases, specifically looking for her rationale, her reasoning what she saw and how she approached the cases. as prosecutors, as front-line prosecutor, we represent the victims of crime we represent law enforcement and the perspective of law enforcement but we also represent the defendants because we look for making sure that those people who should not be prosecuted are not prosecuted. we think that judge sotomayor has that background of looking at all the facts and the law and applying that both to prosecute the guilty, but to protect the innocent and to save them from an unjust trial. we believe that it's very important on the supreme court to have someone with a perspective of understanding how complicated legal issues that are handed down by the
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supreme court have to be applied on a day-to-day basis by law enforcement officers and prosecutors. we think her background in this area makes her very qualified to understand the impact of the rulings that she will participate in. therefore, national district attorney's association, the oldest and largest organization representing state and local prosecutor, would urge her confirmation. thank you. >> thank you very much. i only made it to the vice president of the national district attorney's association, i'm glad you're hear, mr. president. -- you're here, mr. president. >> thank you. i'm tom major, chief of police in montgomery county, maryland. i'm here on behalf of the major city chiefs association representing the 56 largest police departments in the united states. we're here to support the
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nomination of judge sonia sotomayor to the supreme court of the united states. we applaud her distinguished career in public service a record of achievement that began with her work as a prosecutoring attorney. during those year she earned high marks from law enforcement. she's been praised by those who worked at her side on criminal cases, as well as officials who have taken cases to her courtroom in later years. her record as a prosecutor and judge show a commitment to public safety and a sensitivity to the needs of the community. she's made the decisions that are both tough and compassionate. her record shows respect for the law and cases that enable the police to do their job. we support judge sotomayor's nomination and urge her confirmation. >> good morning. my name is sheriff david goad,
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i'm plead past president of the sheriff's association. chairman leahy, thank you for this opportunity. the national sheriff's association supports the nomination of judge sotomayor to the supreme court and urges her confirmation without delay. i'm pleased to be standing here in a strong, unified voice today. judge sotomayor's real-world experience as a prosecutor who pursued justice for victims of violent crimes as well as federal judge at both the district and circuit court levels with unassailable integrity make her an ideal nominee to serve on the supreme court. he believe her judicial philosophy in criminal justice to be sound and support her common sense approach in reviewing cases. she has the qualifications, judicial philosophy and commitment to interpreting the constitution with an abiding sense of fairness and justice essential for serving the
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nation's highest court. we urge the united states senate to confirm judge sotomayor as associate justice for the supreme court and thank you for this opportunity to speak with you here today. thank you very much. >> good morning. i'm jerry murphy we the police executive research forum, a membership association of approximately 350 chiefs and sheriffs from the nation's largest jurisdictions. i'd like to read part of a letter from our president, john timiny who is chief of the miami police department and could not be here today. i'm writing in support of the nomination of judge sotomayor to serve as associate justice of the supreme court of the united states. i believe her inspiring life story and her experience as a prosecutor in new york city, where i spent most of my career demonstrate a strength of character that will serve her well on the nation's highest
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court. judge sotomayor grew up in a housing project in the south bronx. i patroled the streets of the south bronx in the 1970's and know what a tough environment that was. i did not have the privilege of working with jouge sotomayor, but i have spoke within several colleagues who kid. they give nothing but great reviews. they were impressed wher intelligence, strong work ethic and fierce determination to prosecute criminals. like many others, i have been inspired by judge sotomayor's personal story. through hard work and determination, she earned degrees from princeton and the yale law school. after getting her law degree, she could have cashed in at a blue chip law firm but chose instead to take a low-paying position in the manhattan district attorney's office where she gained priceless real-world experience that cannot help but inform her judgment as she decides criminal cases that come before her. judge sotomayor went out of her way to stand shoulder to
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shoulder with those of us in public safety at a time when new york city needed strong, tough, fair prosecutors. i am confident she will continue to bring honor to herself and now to the supreme court when she's confirmed for this critically important position. thank you. >> thank you. we've had everyone -- everybody has spoken and i appreciate this strong support from law enforcement. many of us in the senate had the privilege, as i did, of serving in law enforcement before we came here. we -- we know what it is to have somebody on the bench who understands law enforcement, they'll follow the rule of law, but they know what law enforcement goes through. i think that's extremely important. we don't have that enough in the court. judge sotomayor will be the
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only member of the supreme court who served as a trial judge. she will have served longer on the federal court than anybody in nearly 100 years, being nominated first by president george h.w. bush for one federal judgeship, then by president clinton as another judge. this is a pretty remarkable career. are there questions of any of us? >> just how testy do you expect the hearings to be? >> i hope they wouldn't be. you know, it's not just judge sotomayor who has been watched by the american public here. but the united states senate. i think that we have, every senator has a right and responsibility, as questions, good questions, tough questions, they disagree with a
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response of the nominee, they have a right to say system of but it should be done respectfully. we're a nation of 300 million people. only 101 people get the final say of who is going to be on the supreme court, the highest court in our land. first and foremost the president of the united states who makes the nomination as president obama did and then the 100 senators who vote for or against that person. we stand as the conscience of the nation in doing that. it shb the conscience of the nation, it should be respectful to the nation. not to score political points, not to do those things we think may just be popular for the moment but to make the right judgment to help all americans and i think most americans, certainly all of the americans i spoke with in my home state of vermont last week as i was around the state, whether they agreed or disagreed with the nomination they said we hope it
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will be a respectful, a respectful hearing. because at a time when we have seen disrespect for some of our federal courts, it damages the rule of law. we are an amazing nation in following our rule of law. we are an amazing nation in having an independent federal judiciary. and we should revel in that, ask the questions, yes, but show respect to the third branch of our government. >> senator, you said you reviewed more than 800 of judge sotomayor's -- >> we'll give that you break down here. >> judge sotomayor's cases. do you agree or disagree with her ruling that the -- in new york, the second amendment does not apply to the states? >> she rules the -- ruled the same as some very kirschtive courts of appeals judges as you know. that's a question to be asked
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and it will be asked of her. >> some republicans are talking about using procedural tactics to delay the hearings. i was wondering what you thought -- >> that we don't do. the most recent example, chief justice roberts. i've tried to follow almost precisely the schedule for the hearings for chief justice roberts. i felt that that was appropriate schedule for him. it should be an appropriate schedule for her. and we're following that. i also agreed during that time not to do any procedural delays and did not, did not do the usual putovers. so senators can use their rights as the senate but i have a feeling the american public would say, what are you afraid of? why don't you vote? vote for her or vote against her. don't try procedural things so that you don't have to vote.
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we're paid well to come here and vote up or down. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp 2009] >> judge sotomayor's confirmation hearings get underway on july 13. the committee is expected to question her for two full days before hearing from witnesses. check spee span.org for all our coverage plans -- c-span.org for all our coverage plans. the u.s. house today working on eight bills including those dealing with federal land management and patent office funding. members will return at 6:30 p.m. eastern for recorded votes and special order speeches on any topic. tomorrow the house hopes to work on small business programs and agriculture spending. live house coverage when the gavel comes down here on c-span.
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>> how is c-span funded? >> the u.s. government. >> i don't know. i think some of it's government. >> it's not public funding. >> probably donations. >> i want to say for me, my tax dollars. >> how is c-span funded? 30 years ago america's cable companies created c-span as a public service. a private business initiative. no government mandate, no government money. >> secretary of state hillary clinton today called for talks between the government in honduras and the deposed president of that country. the talks would be held in costa rica. secretary clinton is followed by state department spokesman ian kelly. this is almost half an hour.
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>> that's a very stylish suit. >> thank you for noticing, matt. see my secretary of state there? >> hello, everyone. i just finished a productive meeting with president salaya. we discussed the events of the last nine days and the road ahead. i reiterated to him that the united states supports the restoration of the democratic constitutional order in honduras. we continue to support regional efforts through the o.a.s. to bring about a peaceful resolution that is consistent with the terms of the interamerican democratic charter. as president obama said today, we have taken this position because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders, whether they are leaders we agree with or not.
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and i told president zalaya that we will do everything we can to avoid any further bloodshed and i conveyed our deep regret over the tragic events that unfolded in the last days. we call for all parties to seek a lasting solution to the serious divisions in honduras through dialogue. to that end, we have been working with a number of our partners in the hemisphere to create a negotiation, a dialogue, that could lead to a peaceful resolution of this situation. we are supporting the efforts that the o.a.s. has made but we think there needs to be a specific mediator and to that
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end we are supporting the president of costa rica to serve in this important role. i raised this with president zelaya, discussed it with him at length. hesy '-- agreed that -- he agreed that the president who has not only had a lot of experience going back many years as a mediator, in fact, won the know he bell peace prize for -- prize for the work he did to resolve the conflict in al salvador, but is the current president of the central american association. so he is the natural person to assume this role. i spoke with president arias earlier today, discussed it with him. he is willing to serve as a mediator and we have received word that the de facto care
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taker president will also agree to president arias serving in this role. we hope that this process can begin as soon as possible. it was one of the questions that president did zelaya raised with me, what the timing would be, based on my conversation with president arias, i think he is willing to begin immediately. and it is our hope that through this dialogue mechanism overseen by president arias that there can be a restoration of democratic constitutional order, a peaceful resolution of this matter that will enable the hon duran people to see the restoration of democracy and a more peaceful future going forward. so i'd be happy to take your
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questions. >> do you believe that -- you've used this phrase that is so often used, the restoration of the constitutional democratic order, one, does that mean that president zelaya should be restored to this his position? secondly, do you think it makes any sense for him to try to force his way back into the country as he did over the weekend when the violence occurred? and then, lastly, does he need to compromise a little on this? does he need to perhaps give up his plans for a referendum on extending the presidential terms? >> now that we have a mediation process that we hope can begin shortly, i don't want to prejudge what the parties themselves will agree to. there are many different issues that will have to be discussed and resolved. but i think it's fair to let the
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parties themselves with with president arias' assistance sort out all of these issues. we hope at the end of this mediation there will be a return of democratic constitutional order. that is agreed to by all concerned. the exact nature of that, the specifics of it, we will leave to the parties themselves as i think now is appropriate. i was heartened that president zelaya agreed it with this. i believe that it is a better route for him to follow at this time than to attempt to return in face of the implaqueble opposition of the de facto regime. and so instead of another confrontation that might result in the loss of life, let's try the dialogue process and see where that leads and let's let
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the parties determine all the various issues as they should. it's their responsibility to do that. >> does the mediation effort now mean that you're going to hold off on making a determination about whether this was in fact a coop that statutorily required -- cue that state toirl requires you to suspend -- >> we have paused in the aid that we think would be affected by the letter of the statute. there is humanitarian aid and that is a concern for us, the well-being of the people of honduras. but we've made the decision to basically pause on any further aid. we hope that this mediation process will lead to a rapid resolution and that would be our preference. >> do you expect president arias to go to honduras? >> no, he's going to conduct it in costa rica and the parties
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from honduras, including president zelaya will be in costa rica for the mediation. >> what status, what official status, does president zelaya currently have in the united states? what has he been afforded? and what is the status of the ambassador of honduras to washington? does he represent the de facto government or president zelaya? >> those are some of the specific questions that president zelaya is discussing as we speak with assistance secretary tom shannon -- assistant secretary tom shannon, with the national security council and others. because we do want to work this out in the most appropriate manner, the question of their ambassador to us and our ambassador to them is one we need to resolve. i was very pleased that president zelaya and the foreign
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minister who was with him both commended us for the role that our ambassador is playing in honduras. not only in providing security for members of president zelaya's family, but in being one of the few people who can can talk to all sides at this time. we are obviously going to be guided by the appropriateness of whether to leave our ambassador there going forward. if president zelaya believes he's playing a useful role, so we do not want to abridge that if it could be value added to this mediation process. >> last question. >> madam secretary, thank you for taking questions. you can confirm reports that assistant secretary shannon met yesterday -- [inaudible]
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you can tell us about the nature of those conversations? [inaudible] >> well, i'm not going to comment on that because our goal has been to reach the point where i believe we are now which is to get the parties talking to each other and not through us or through other third parties. there's been, as you know, an enormous amount of contact going on across the hemisphere, literally around the world. but it has been my view for several days that the most useful role with we could play is to convince all that are directly concerned, not only president zelaya, but also the de facto regime, the o.a.s., the u.n., everyone, that we needed to have a process where the hon dourans themselves sat down and talked to each other. and that is -- that's been my goal and i believe that we are on the brink of that happening. i'm hoping that it actually
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occurs soon. so we have tried through our good offices to get people to this point and we're very grateful for the willingness of president arias to serve in this position and we're also appreciative of the efforts of the o.a.s. as well. ok. all right. one more. one more. >> [inaudible] >> we are deeply concerned over the reports of deaths and injuries from violence in western china. we are trying to sort out as best we can the facts and circumstances from the region and we're calling on all sides to exercise restraint. we know there's a long history
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of tension and discontent but the most immediate matter is to bring the violence to a conclusion. with respect to india, i'm very much looking forward to my trip next week. we are working hard -- with our indian counterparts to create a very deep and broad strategic engagement and it is my hope that we'll be able to announce our intentions when i'm in india and that we will be cooperating and working together across the broadest range of concerns that our got -- two governments have ever engaged on. i am very hopeful that the relationship between the united states and india which has improved considerable over the last 15 years continues on the
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path that we're on. india is an emerging global power. the recent election has provided political stability and the new government is very committed to pursuing a very activist domestic agenda, particularly around poverty and the conditions of people in rural india as well as, you know, its emphasis on development and job creation. but also to look for ways that ind can -- india can play a role regionly and globally on the economic issues and other matters that confront us. so i'm very excited. i was thrilled to go to india for the first time as first lady and to begin a process that has led us to this point with the contributions of many along the way. that really demonstrates that the world's largest democracy and oldest democracy have so much more in common than perhaps
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was first recognized. thank you. thank you all very much. thank you, thank you. we're making progress. it's feeling better. physical therapy is hard, though. that's what i'm doing now. trying to get my mobility back and they say it's going to take six to eight weeks before i'll get the mobility back and then i'll do strength training to get strength back. but that's probably more than you ever wanted to know. thanks. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp 2009] >> when the house returns, recorded votes and special order speeches. tomorrow the house hopes to work on small business programs and agriculture spending. live house coverage when the gavel comes down here on c-span. president obama continues his
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overseas trip with stops in russia, italy and ghana. earlier today, the president delivered remarks at the new economic school in moscow and planned to meet with prime minister putin, former president gorbachev and other political and business leaders. tomorrow's agenda includes stops in itsly for meetings with with president napolitano and lunch with g-8 leaders. also a session with those leaders on foreign policy and political issues. check c-span.org for video of president obama's stops and speeches from his trip. justice department officials today said only voluntary statements from guantanamo bay detainees would be used in military trials proposed by the obama administration. that testimony came during this senate armed services committee hearing. carl levin of michigan is the chairman. this is about two hours.
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>> good morning, everybody. the committee meets today to consider the important issue of military commissions. and the trial of detainees for violations of the law of war. on june 25, the committee unanimously voted to include a provision on military commissions in the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2010. this bill has now been sent to the full is senate for its consideration. i think our -- thank our ranking member, senator mccain, as well as senator graham, and all the members of the committee for their work on this important matter. in its 2006 decision in the hamden case, the supreme court held that common article three of the geneva conventions prohibits the trial of detainees for violations of the law of war unless the trial is conducted, quote, by a regularly
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constituted court affording all of the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples, closed quote. the court concluded that, quote, the regular military courts in our system are -- or the courts marshall by statutes, closed quote, but that a military commission can be regularly constituted by the standards of our military justice system, quote, if some practical need explains deviations from court marshall practice, closed quote. similarly, the court found that the provision for, quote, judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civiled peoples requires that a minimum of any deviations from the procedures be justified by evident practical need. the supreme court found that the military commission's established pursuant to president bush's military order
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of november 13, 2001, failed to meet that test. the military commission's subsequently authorized by congress and the military commissions act of 2006 also clearly failed to meet that test as well because they deviate from court marshall practice by permitting the routine use of coerced testimony, by authorizing reliance on hearsay evidence, even when direct evidence is reasonably available, and by establishing a presumption that the procedures and precedents applicable in trials by court marshals will not apply to military commissions. the double failure that i've just described to establish a system that provides basic guarantees of fairness identified by our supreme court has placed a cloud over military commissions and has led some to conclude that the use of military commissions can never be fair, credible or consistent
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with our basic principles of justice. while the previous congress' effort failed to meet the standards zeable established by the supreme court in the hamden case, i believe that military commissions can be designed to meet those standards and that if they do, they can play a legitimate role in prosecuting violations of the law of war. president obama has said that he believes this as well. in his may 21, 2009, speech at the national archives, the president said, quote, military commissions have a history in the united states dating back to george washington and the revolutionary war, there an appropriate venue for trying detain aees for the violations of war, they allow for the protection of sensitive sources and methods of intelligence gathering, they you a allow for the safety and security of participants and for the presentation of etches gathered from the battlefield that cannot always be effectively presented
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in federal courts. now instead of using the flawed commissions of the last seven years -- now i'm continuing the quote of president obama, instead of using the flawed commissions of the last seven years, my administration is bringing our commissions in line with the rule of law. we will no longer permit the use of evidence as evidence statements that have been obtained using cruel and inhumane or degrading interrogation methods, we will no longer place the burden of proof that hearsay is unreliable on the opponent of the hearsay and we will give detainees greater latitude in selecting their own council and more protections if they refuse to testify. these reforms, he said, among others, will make our military commissions a more credible and effective means of administering justice and i will work with congress and members of both parties as well as legal authorities across the political
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spectrum on legislation to ensure that these commissions are fair, legitimate and effective. the procedures for military commissions have varied over the years as the procedures followed in our military justice system have fairied. the supreme court noted in the hamden case that while procedures governing trials by military commission are typically those governing courts marshal, the quote, union formity principle is not an inflexible one, it does not preclude all departures from the procedures dictated for use by court marshal but any departure to the supreme court said must be tailored. that is the standard that we've tried to apply in adopting the procedures for military commissions that we have included in the bill that we referred to the full senate. this new language addresses a long series of problems with the military commission procedures
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currently in law. for example, relative to the disability of coerced testimony, the provision in our bill would eliminate the double standard in existing law under which coerced statements are admissible if they were obtained prior to december 30, 2005. relative to the use of hear say evidence, the pro vision in our bill would eliminate the extraordinary language in the existing law which places the burden on detainees to prove that hearsay evidence introduced against them is not reliable in probative. relative to the issue of access, to classified evidence and exculpatory evidence, the provision in our bill would eliminate the unique procedures and requirements which have hampered the ability of defense teams to obtain information and have led to so much litigation. we would substitute the more established procedures based on the uniform code of military justice with modest changes to ensure that the government
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cannot be required to disclose classified information to unauthorized persons. and of great importance, the provision in our bill would reverse the existing presumption in the military commissions act of 2006 that rules in procedures applicable to trials by court marshal would not apply. our new language says, by contrast, it, quote, except as otherwise provided, the procedures and rules of evidence applicable in trials by general court marshals of the united states shall apry in trials by military commission under this chapter. the exceptions to this rule are as suggested by the supreme court carefully tailored to the unique circumstances of the conduct of military and intelligence operations during hostilities. three years ago, when the committee considered similar legislation on military commissions, i urged that we
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apply two tests. first, will we be able to live with the procedures that we establish if the tables are turned and our own troops are subject to similar procedures? second, is the bill consistent with our american system of justice and will it stand up to scrutiny on judicial review? i believe those remain the right questions for us to consider and that the language that we have included in the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2010 meets both tests. over the last three years, we have seen the legal advisor to the convening authority for military commissions forced to step aside after a military judge found that he had compromised his objectivity by aligning himself with the prosecution. we have had prosecutors resign after making allegations of improper command influence and serious deefficient -- deficiencies in the military commission process. we've had the chief defense
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council raise serious concerns about the adequacy of resources made available to defendants in military commission cases, writing that, quote, regardless of its other procedures, no trial system will be fair unless the serious deficiencies in the current system's approach to defense resources are rectified. so even if we're able to enact new legislation that successfully addresses the shortcomings in existing law, we still have a long way to go to restore public confidence in military commissions and the justice that they produce. however, we will not be able to restore confidence in military commissions at all unless we first substitute new procedures and language to address the problems with the existing statute. again, i want to thank senator mccain, senator graham and the other members of the committee for all of the work that they've put into this bill and into this issue and the senate will be considering the entire bill, including these provisions,
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hopefully starting next monday or tuesday. senator mccain. >> mr. chairman, the senator in office asked to make a brief comment. >> sure, of course. >> i thank the ranking member for his courtesy. unfortunately i'm the ranking member on environmental public works. we have a hearing that's going on at the same time so i do have a list of nonlawyer questions i'll be submitting for the record, such things as the impact of placing detainees in u.s. prisons system pretrial and post trial, the security risks of escape, the -- where these detainees will be tried and what risk -- the advantages of using the complex we've all seen down there, the expeditionary legal complex that is designed for tribunals. the rules of evidence that are between a tribunal and federal court system and lastly a discussion and some requests
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about the visibility of reading miranda rights to captured terrorists. so i thank you and i will be submitting these and i appreciate the opportunity to make that statement. >> thank you, senator. senator mccain. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to join new welcoming our witnesses on both pams this morning. i appreciate your scheduleed hearing and appreciate the expert advise and experience in these matters that our witnesses bring to our discussions on military commissions and detainee policy. this committee has led the way in dealing with detainee issues and developing legislation on detaining matters. sometimes in cooperation with the -- cooperation with the white house and sometimes over its strong objections. the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2010 which was reported out of this committee unanimously on june 25 again takes a leading role by including changes to the military commission act of 2006.
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i'm pleased to have worked with you and senator graham and others on this legislation and we haven't resolved all the thorny issues that military commissions and other aspects of detaining policy present. i believe we've made substantial progress that will strengthen the military commission systems during appellate review, provided careful balance between protection of national security and american values and allow the trials to move forward with greater efficiency toward a just and fair result. first panel is composed of experts in national security and legal matters from within the government including senior officials of the defense department, justice department and our uniformed judge advocate general corps. witnesses on our second panel have similar experience from outside the government. i'm particularly interested in hearing the views of witnesses on both pand -- panels, on problems that have been encountered implementing the
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current military commission system, including the speed of bringing cases to trial and what should be done to make the system work more smoothly, ways in which to deal with the important issue of protection of classified information, whether the current military commission systems adequately address this alleged terrorist attacks by al qaeda and its operatives that occurred before the attacks on september 11, 2001, such as the bombing of the u.s.s. cole and our east african embassies. whether the rules on use of hearsay testimony at trial strike the right balance between the conditions of an ongoing war or whether improvements should be made. whether the definition of, quote, unlawful enemy combatant or, quote, unprivileged belligerent, should be modified. whether changes should be made in the appellate review of military commissions. while our hearing today is focused on military commissions and the trial of detainees for
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violations of the law of war, there are a number of enormously difficult issues related to detainee policy that are he must also come to grips with in a comprehensive fashion. before we can close the detention facility at guantanamo bay as president obama has pledged to do. mr. chairman, the issues presented by the detainees at guantanamo and overseas in afghanistan are among the most difficult policy decisions this administration faces. i look forward to hearing the views of our witnesses and working with you on these matters as the d.o.d. bill moves forward toward considerations and conference with the house of representatives. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you so much, senator mccain. we'll first now hear from our inside panled and first the general council for the department of defense, jay johnson. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, senator mccain, member of this committee.
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you have my prepared statement. i will dispense with the full reading of it and just make some abbreviated opening comments here. >> all the statements will be made part of the record in full. >> thank you. i want to thank this committee for taking the initiative on a bipartisan basis to seek reform of military commissions. as you know, in his speech as the chairman remarked, at the national archives on may 21, president obama called for the reform of military commissions and pledged to work with the congress to amend the military commissions act of 2006, so speaking on behalf of the administration, we welcome the opportunity to be here today and to work with you on this important initiative. military commissions can and should contribute to our national security by becoming a viable form for trying those who violate the laws of war. by working to improve military commissions, to make the process more fair and credible, we
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enhance our national security by providing the government with effective alternatives for bringing to justice those international terrorists who violate the laws of war. those are the remarks i wanted to make initially. senator, i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, mr. johnson. next is the assistant attorney general for national security division at the department of justice. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i come from the justice department and this is my first appearance before this committee. i thought i might begin by briefly explaining how i think my work relates to that of the committee with respect to military commissions. the national security division which i lead combines all of d.o.j.'s major national security personnel and functions and our basic mission is to protect national security consistent with the rule of law and civil liberties and in keeping with
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that, we support all lawful methods for achieving that protection. including but not limited to prosecution in article three court or before a military commission. in the last administration, n.s.d. assembled a team of experienced federal prosecutors drawn from across the country to assist the d.o.d. office of military commissions and litigate cases at gitmo. and i can assure you that assistance will continue. the man who led that team for the national security division is now my deputy and a member of that team has since been recalled to active duty and is now the lead prosecutor at o.m.c. as the president explained, when prosecution is feasible and otherwise appropriate, we will prosecute terrorists in federal court or in military commissions. in the 1990's i prosecuted a group of violent extremists and
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like their more modern counterparts, they engaged in extensive lawfare which made the trials challenges but the prosecution succeeded not only because it incarcerated these defendants, some of them for a very long time indeed, but also because it deprived them of any shred of legitimacy. military commissions can help do the same for those who violate the law of war. not only detain them for longer than my -- than might otherwise be possible but also brand them as illegitimate war criminals. to do this effectively, however, the commissions themselves must first be reformed and the committee's bill is a tremendous step in that direction. as you know, from my written testimony and that of mr. johnson and admiral mcdonald, the administration appreciates the bill very much and supports much of it. you have made an incredibly valuable contribution with the bill. and so i want to thank you again for inviting me here and i look
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forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much. admiral mcdonald. >> thank you, mr. chairman, senator mccain, members of the committee. thank you very much for providing me with the opportunity to present my personal views of section 10e31 of the national defense authorization act. in 2006 when this committee was working to establish a permanent framework for military commissions through the military commissions act, i had the opportunity to share my views with the senate judiciary committee and the house armed services committee. at that time i recommended that a comprehensive framework for military commissions should clearly establish the jurisdiction of the commissions, set baseline standards of structure, procedure and evidence, consistent with u.s. law and the law of war and prescribe substantive offenses. i stated that the uniform code of military justice should be used as a model for the
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commission's process. i am pleased to say that this committee's legislative proposal addresses the concerns i had in 2006 following the enactment of military commissions act. overall, i believe that this legislation establishes a balanced framework to provide important rights and protections to an accused while also providing the government with the means of prosecuting alleged alien unprivileged enemy belligerents. in reviewing your legislation, i would identify two areas where additional clarity would be most helpful to our practitioners. first, the legislation relies upon the current courts marshal rules of evidence to address the handling of classified information. unfortunately the cognizant military rule does not have a very robust history. over time we have discovered that while it has some benefits,
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the military rules on the use of classified information fall short of our overall goals. on the other hand, for over 20 years, article three relied upon the procedures act. in light of the history and experience of cepa, as well as the practical difficulties with use of mre-505 to date, i recommend using the process going forward. second, agree with the provision calling for the military judge to evaluate the admissibility of allegedly could hearsed statements using a test to determine reliability. however, to assist our practitioners in the field, i recommend that you develop a list of kkses to be evaluated in making this determination. those crucials should include -- those considerations should
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include the reliability and statement itself and to what degree the will of the person making the statement was overborn. once again, thank you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity to testify and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much, admiral mcdonald. as the judge advocate general of the united states navy, your testimony is obviously a very, very important to us. you emphasize that you're speaking on a personal capacity here today and we will -- we understand that and we would ask, however, if there are some differences between the uniformed navy and your own personal views that we will ask the secretary if there are any such differences. we assume mr. johnson's speaking for the entire department of defense, but since you put it that way, we will make that inquiry of the secretary of the navy. let's try a six-minute round here.
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we've got not only two panels but we've also got a room which is reserved for some other purpose previously at 12:30. i hope we'll have enough time. so we'll try a six-minute first round. let me ask you first, mr. johnson, i quoted from the hamden case in my opening remarks saying that the court in hamden said that, quote, the regular military courts in our system are the court marshals established by congressional statutes but they also said that a military commission can be regularly constituted if there is a practical need that explains the deviations from court marshal practice. we have attempted in our language to do exactly that. and my question first of you is, in your view, does our bill
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conform to the hamden standards? >> senator, as you noted, hamden requires and of course hamden was at a time that the military commissions act of 2006 did not exist, as i recall, but the holding of hamden was that military commissions and i'm not going to get this exactly right, but that military commissions should depart from ucmj courts only in situations of evident practical need. the proposed legislation in our view definitely brings us closer to the ucmj model and the circumstances under which the military commissions
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contemplated by this bill and ucmj courts differ are, in our judgment, circumstances that are necessary given the needs here. for example, there is no miranda requirement imposed by this legislation, article 31 of the ucmj, specifically excluded from application here. article 31 is what calls formy randsa writings in ucmj circumstances. the legislation also takes what i believe is a very appropriate and practical approach to hearsay. as you noted in your opening remarks, mr. chairman, the burden is no longer on the opponent to demonstrate that hearsay should be excluded.
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there is a notice requirement in the proposed legislation and if the proponent of the hearsay can demonstrate reliability, materialality and that the declarnte is not available as a practical matter give be the unique circumstances of military and intelligence operations, the hearsay could be a mitted. -- admitted. military commissions are fundamentally different from ucmj courts in that most often what you have at military justice is the punishment of a member of the u.s. military for some violation of the ucmj. very often directed of some sort of domestic nature and military commissions obviously for violations of the law of war, they're very often prosecuting people captured on the battlefield and just given the nature of the way evidence is collected, there needs to be a
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recognition that the military can't be expected to change how it does business to engage in evidence collection on the battlefield. so the way this legislation deals with the hearsay rules, i think, is quite appropriate and is certainly an example of evident practical need. i would say the same when it comes to the rules on authenticity set forth in this proposed legislation. there's not a requirement like you would see in ucmj courts or in civilian courts for what we in civilian courts would know as a strict chain of custody. there is a more practical approach gibbon the needs of military operations and intelligence collection and -- >> i can interrupt threw because of our short time? if could you expand for the record anyplaces where you believe that there's -- where we fall short of complying with the hamden standards, i'm appreciate that. if could you do that for the record.
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>> yes, i'd be happy to. >> you could expand your answer, too. >> sorry for going on so long. >> mr. "c.s.i.," let me ask you -- kris, let me ask you, in injure judgment do you believe that this bill as drafted, that these provisions conform to the hamden standards? >> yes. to the extent that the uniformity principle from hamden applies to a statutorily created system of commission, i think it is met. we have some recommendations for change but those aren't rooted in the uniformity principle at all. >> ok. and while -- i'm asking you questions, it's been argued that it's not appropriate for the department of defense to prosecute terrorists. do you believe that it is appropriate for the department of defense to prosecute alleged terrorists with these military
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commissions? instead of the department of justice doing all the prosecuting in article three courts? >> yes, i think the president made clear in his may 21 speech that we will prosecute in federal court and where there is a law of war violation and under a reformed system of military commissions we will also prosecute law of war violations in those commissions. i think the president said it best when he said that we need to be using all instruments of national power against this adversary and that includes military commissions. >> ok, thank you. my time's expired. senator mccain. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. mr. johnson and mr. kris, if trials were held in guantanamo or the united states, would there be any difference in the proceedings? >> senator, if military
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commissions were held in the continental united states, i think that we have to carefully consider the possibility that some level of due process may apply that the courts have not determined applies now. i think that that assessment has to be carefully evaluated and carefully made. i think that -- >> so, what you're saying is that you believe there could be some significant difference in procedure if the trials were held in guantanamo or the united states of america? >> i'm not sure i would be prepared to say significant difference. >> i think it would be important for this committee to know what your view is. it might have something to do with the way that we shape legislation. if they're going to have all kinds of additional rights if they're tried in the united states of america as opposed to guantanamo, i think the committee and the american people should know that. >> one of the things that i mentioned in my prepared
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statement, senator, is that when it comes to the admissibility of statements, the administration believes that a voluntaryness standard should apply that takes account of the realities of military operations and we think that that is something that due process may require, particularly if commissions come to the united states, that the courts may impose a voluntaryness standard. >> well, i hope that you and mr. kris will provide for the record what you think the difference is in the process would be as to the location of those triles. i think it's very important, certainly it is to me. mr. kris, in your statement on page two you said, it's the administration's view that there's a serious risk that courts would hold the admission of involuntary statements of the accused and military commission proceedings is unconstitutional. does that infer that these
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individuals have constitutional rights? >> yes. >> what are those constitutional rights? people who are not citizens of the united states of america, who were captured on the battlefield, committing acts of war against the united states? >> our analysis, senator, is that the due process clause applies to military commissions and imposes the constitutional floor on the procedures that would govern such commissions, including against enemy aliens. >> and what would those be, mr. kris? >> a number of due process-based rights, one of which mr. johnson just mentioned, is we think there is a serious risk that courts will find that are voluntaryness standard is required by the due process clause for admission of -- >> so you are saying that these people who are in guantanamo who are part of 9/11 or have
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committed acts of war against the united states are entitled to constitutional rights? of the institution of the united states of america? >> within the framework that i just described, i think the answer is yes. the due process clause guarantees and impoteses some requirements. that's the way i think i would put it, on the conduct and rules governing these commissions. >> well, that's very interesting because i had never proceeded under that assumption in drafting this legislation in previous legislation. the fact is that they are entitled to geneva protections under the geneva conventions which apply in rules of war. i did not know any time in american history where enemy combatants were given rights under the united states constitution. >> i mean, i do think, senator, there's a difference between their rights, for example, they would not be entitled to the rights under geneva for prisoners of war because these are -- >> no, they're rights under the treatment of enemy combatants.
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those under geneva convention's article three. but we now have a established that it is the view of the administration that enemy combatants or belligerents, whatever the new name that you'd like to call them, are now entitled to rights under the united states -- constitutional rights of u.s. citizens. >> well, not at all. i don't think that's right. i mean, both in terms of how we would describe this is as a due process requirement that applies to the commissions even if they are prosecuting enemy aliens and also i don't think it's right to equate the rights or the rules that are required for commission proceedings against aliens necessarily with those that would apply against u.s. citizens. those might come out differently. this is an extremely complicated area of law, as you know. >> it certainly is. but your statement for the record was that it's the
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administration's view that there's serious risks that courts would hold that admission of involuntary statements of the accused in military commission proceedings is unconstitutional. therefore it means that they have some constitutional rights. so, mr. chairman, i know that there are other questions by the witnesses -- of the witnesses and i'll -- if there's a second round maybe i'll take advantage of it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator lieberman. >> thanks, mr. chairman. thanks to the witnesses. mr. johnson, let me begin with an expression of appreciation for the process that the administration has gone through to come to the point that you're at today. for me as we've gone through this deliberation about how to treat what i call prisoners of war, that is those suspected of violating the laws of war, it seems to me that we've had a hard time putting this in the
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context of our own sets of fairness related to the unique war we're in. obviously this is a war against terrorist. they don't fight in uniform, they don't fight for the most part for nation states and this war may go on for a long time. but nonetheless it seemed to me along the way that there was no sense to those who were arguing that these individuals apprehended for violations of the law of war should be tried in our federal courts. they don't -- in the sense that senator mccain has just said, i don't think they have the constitutional rights that we associate with american citizenship. also, they've not, in my opinion, violated federal criminal law. they violated the laws of war. so i know that there were some who expected that the obama administration's review would end up recommending that all of these cases go to federal court.
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and i appreciate the fact that you have not come to that conclusion, although i have some questions about some of the subparts of what you've done. but i think this is really a very significant, very open-minded, very fair, very ultimately historic process you went through and reached the right balance and i appreciate it. you were asked just a moment ago whether you thought that the military commission provisions of the national defense authorization act were within the hamden ruling of the supreme court. i want to ask you whether you -- your judgment is that the military commission provisions of the ndaa are within the requirements of the geneva convention? >> yes, senator, with room to spare, yes. and one of my personal objectives, frankly, is that we
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device a system that comports with the geneva conventions as well as hamden, as well as applicable u.s. laws. so i think the answer to your question is yes, sir. >> well, i thank you for that answer. i ayou degree with you and i particularly appreciate -- i agree with you and i particularly appreciate the clause you added which is that the military commission provisions of the national defense authorization act are not only within the requirements of the geneva convention but as you said, with room to spare. i agree. we hold ourselves to a very high standard. sometimes standards that are so high that they are unrealistic and in some sense self-destructive in the context of the war we're in. but i agree with you that what we've provided for in this legislation of this committee is well within the geneva convention. let me ask you a specific
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question that came up in the last exchange of testimony of mr. kris. in light of the judgment of the supreme court in the hamden case , that certainly to me suggested approval of the courts -- of the court of appeals for armed forces as the place that the accused here can appeal from the judgment of the military commission and the court of appeals for armed forces is not a standard article three federal court as you well know. why is the administration seeking a right of appeal from the military commissions to article three federal courts, mr. kris or mr. johnson? >> senator, let me take a stab at that initially at least. first, we

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